Monday 5 December 2016

'Cuts from Dublin' blamed as locals furious with litter blackspot status

Published 06/09/2016 | 18:34

Yesterday's IBAL survey found that over 90pc of Ireland's towns are clean, but cited significant problems with litter and dumping in city suburb areas.
Yesterday's IBAL survey found that over 90pc of Ireland's towns are clean, but cited significant problems with litter and dumping in city suburb areas.

Residents of Farranree in Cork City, deemed Ireland's only 'litter blackspot' by the Irish Business Against Litter survey for 2016, have hit back at IBAL for their 'unfair' survey.

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Yesterday's IBAL survey found that over 90pc of Ireland's towns are clean, but cited significant problems with litter and dumping in city suburb areas.

Farranree in North Cork City was the only 'litter blackspot,' IBAL's worst classification. Galvone in Limerick city was also cited as 'seriously littered'.

Read more: Revealed: The cleanest (and the most littered) parts of the country

Councillor Kenneth Collins, who lives in Farranree, said that residents at a meeting in the community centre were outraged at the result.

Cllr Collins said that IBAL won't come to Cork to speak to the council or propose solutions, so they should "lay off Farranree."

He pointed to "cuts coming from Dublin" as the reason for the lack of funding for local councils and insisted that the community should not be blamed.

He was especially concerned by the report's citing of defaced signs and boarded up houses, saying that this is a problem for the council, not the community, and has nothing to do with litter.

Both Cllr Collins and Cllr Mick Nugent denied that dumping was a serious problem in the area, saying they rarely had complaints.

Majella Gould, a community worker in the area, expressed frustration at the way IBAL conducted the survey, saying "They're not comparing like with like."

She said that the survey would find different results if it compared areas with similar resources, instead of comparing an urban suburb like Farranree to tourist towns with much more funding.

She also insisted that the community is working hard to keep the area clean, pointing to their regular environmental group meetings and cleanups. "If they found places in the area dirty, they might have been cleaned five minutes before."

Conor Horgan, a representative of IBAL, responded to the concerns by saying "We only go by what the data tells us."

Discussing solutions, he said he was impressed by Dublin City Council's efforts to register residents for bin collection in the north inner city, but acknowledged that there are funding issues with such a large project.

 Limerick City and County Council considered IBAL's reporting on Galvone, 39th out of 40 areas for litter, "somewhat harsh".

"There are issues with litter and illegal dumping, however the Council and the local community have pulled together and combined their efforts to make improvements to this area."

Councillor Paul Keller from Limerick City and County Council said "I can't say I've noticed dumping as a big problem in that area, certainly there have been no complaints to me about it."

He echoed IBAL's concerns about the new mandatory pay-by-weight system for bin charges, which will be introduced next year: "It will definitely cause a problem on top of the other taxes people have to pay."

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