Carlow cleans up act to become top litter-free town
OUR biggest cities are still teeming with litter but one town has cleaned up its act to become the country's most well-kept.
Carlow, according to a new survey, is the cleanest town in Ireland but the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) group said measures suggested to ministers to tackle the scourge of litter had "fallen on deaf ears".
Carlow pipped Trim in Co Meath in the 2010 survey of litter levels in 53 towns and cities.
Both were among 39 towns to be classed as "litter free", in what was the most successful result since the programme started in 2002.
But the country's two biggest cities fared poorly, with Cork falling to second from bottom and Dublin in a lowly 50th position. IBAL chairman Dr Tom Cavanagh criticised the Government for failing to tackle the issue of litter in cities.
"We had hoped for some meaningful measures from Minister Gormley in 2010, but none has been delivered," he said.
"IBAL is seeking cleaning schedules for national roads, and is also proposing that a defined amount of the €45m which the National Roads Authority allocates to local authorities is set aside for cleaning up litter.
"In addition, a report on dumping was promised, but has failed to materialise. None of these issues has been acted upon, so it is no wonder that the entry points to Dublin and Cork in particular are still blighted by litter."
This is the third time that Carlow has won the IBAL Litter League. Of the 53 towns surveyed, 39 (74pc) were judged litter free -- a record percentage since the league began in 2002, when only two towns attained this status. No town was classed as a blackspot, and Portlaoise was the only town to receive a "seriously littered" grading.
The Department of the Environment said the litter situation overall had improved, and that a number of measures had been taken to deal with the problem including giving local authorities €1.5m last year.
A report on how litter should be tackled would be published and put in place before the summer, a spokesman added.