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Saturday 22 October 2016

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

Daire Courtney

Published 05/09/2016 | 17:53

Illegal dumping near Rathfarnham in Dublin earlier this year
Illegal dumping near Rathfarnham in Dublin earlier this year

A survey has revealed the cleanest and most littered areas in the country.

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Only 2 of 25 towns surveyed were deemed littered, but 7 of the bottom 8 places on the list were city areas in Dublin, Cork and Galway.

Kilkenny was named Ireland's cleanest area in the survey by Irish Business Against Litter, while Farranree in Cork was Ireland's only 'litter blackspot'.

The previously littered towns of Athlone, Portlaoise and Ennis all improved to 'Clean to European Norms', while Maynooth shot up 19 places in the rankings.

Dublin city centre had its best ever showing, with Grafton Street, Temple Bar and Christchurch receiving top marks.

“Dublin City Council has done a fine job in presenting the capital at its best in what was an important summer for tourism,” says IBAL’s Conor Horgan. “This job was complemented by the roads around Dublin Airport being exceptionally clean. At the same time Ballymun and North Inner City were littered, so we’re not near to solving the capital’s litter problem yet.”

Galvone in Limerick city and Mahon in Cork city were also found to be littered.

”These survey findings bear out our contention that while our city centres are generally well maintained, disadvantaged areas continue to be the source of much of the litter in our country,” continues Horgan.

According to IBAL, litter is a symptom of social neglect, and councils need to look at a community-wide response targeting those areas where the problem is at its worst.

“Work at keeping these areas clean for six to twelve months and they are likely to stay clean, and the community can have pride in their neighbourhood,“ says Horgan. “That does cost money initially, but the payback will be significant.”

The survey also found that while littering had decreased, dumping is on the rise; IBAL are concerned that mandatory pay-by-weight bin charges, due to be introduced next year, could encourage dumping.

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