Drogheda 'cleaner than European norms'
The latest survey by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) shows Navan and Drogheda both 'Cleaner than European Norms' - finishing in 11th and 14th place respectively in the ranking of 40 towns and cities.
Previous winner Dundalk retains its "Clean" status in 30th spot, a fall of 4 places on 2016.
Over 90% of rural towns surveyed were deemed clean, while Dublin, Cork and Galway city centres all scored well. IBAL says a lack of community involvement explains why certain disadvantaged urban areas continue to be plagued by litter despite improvements elsewhere.
The report for Drogheda stated: "An excellent result for Drogheda, retaining its "Cleaner than European norms" tag from 2 years ago. The town had no heavily littered sites.
'All three of the roads leading to Drogheda were moderately littered but the remainder were all top ranking.
'Other top ranking sites included Lidl (on road to Ashbourne), Drogheda United FAI, West Street and St. Mary's School - it wasn't just the lack of litter but the overall presentation and maintenance of these sites which sets them apart."
The report for Dundalk stated: "Dundalk retains its clean status, with no heavily littered sites.
'Very good sites in Dundalk included the County Museum, Dundalk Grammar School and Oriel Park Football Stadium - all were well presented and maintained.
' Dundalk Institute of Technology was let down by the cigarette butts at the entrance - this took away from an otherwise very freshly presented campus."
"In the 16 years we have been conducting these surveys, this is possibly our best result," says Conor Horgan of IBAL. "Across the board we have seen improvements. The news is all the more positive given the importance of how we present our country over the summer months, when we attract over 40% of our visitors."
He says the efforts of 'volunteer forces' are vital in supporting council staff.