Monday 23 September 2019

Litter black spots causing headaches

The riverwalk area at the back of the Castle Shopping Centre was ‘grubby’ with the banks of the river ‘heavily littered’.
The riverwalk area at the back of the Castle Shopping Centre was ‘grubby’ with the banks of the river ‘heavily littered’.

Nicola Donnelly

DESPITE the recent IBAL result (Irish Businesses Against Litter) results declaring Swords cleaner than European norms, two notorious black spots have cropped up again and again over the years, including an area beside Fingal County Council's Environmental Department.

According to Des Becton, chairman of Swords Tidy Towns, these areas, which are the responsibility of the council, are not sending out a good message.

The IBAL judges noted the Riverwalk area and the recycling facility, located beside Fingal County Council's Environment Department 'don't seem to get the same level of attention as other sites in Swords.'

The Riverwalk area at the back of the Castle Shopping Centre was given a Grade C mark and the judges noted 'the area surveyed was from the back of the Castle Shopping Centre up to the next stone bridge.'

'The main pedestrian path was generally clear but the area to the side of the path, inland was grubby with remnants of a fire at the spot,' the report continued. 'The banks of the river were heavily littered, primarily food and alcohol related.'

Mr. Becton said many towns would love to have a river running through it, making it an attractive feature.

'But,' he said, 'the area is a disgrace.'

'This area has been a black spot for a number of years and, as a river, it is a feature of the town. We have been talking for years with the council and they mention their long-term plans for the river, but nothing yet has been done about cleaning it up.'

He said he has made a number of suggestions as to how work can be done to enhance the feature but he said, 'this seems to have fallen on deaf ears.'

He said the recycling area in front of the Environmental Department has 'cropped up over a number of years.' It also received a Grade C result.

'It's ironic that this area, which is part of the Environmental Department, has received such a low grade and hasn't really been looked after at all.'

The judges reported that the area was 'not just heavily littered but very grubby in appearance.'

The report continued: 'The area to the rear of the recycle bins are strewn with discarded boxes and general litter.'

Mr. Becton remarked that the surface at the entrance to the facility had been in a very poor condition over the years and there had been a number of complaints made that water had been coming off the site.

'It's not a healthy situation,' he said. 'But, the surface around the bottle bank has a new surface on it since the construction of the new salt barn.

He said the way the recycling facility is built, it allows people to put rubbish behind it.

'It's a matter of good housekeeping and it doesn't send out a good message at all,' added Mr Becton.

He added that the Tidy Towns committee are willing to lend a hand to clean up the area as in the National Tidy Towns competition there is a prize of €1,000 for the best presentation of a bottle bank area.

He also said the area had appeared in the Tidy Towns report as being an area which improvements should be made.

'We are hoping to have a meeting with local councillors to address this problem area,' Mr. Beacton said.

Fingal Independent