Last year’s winners, Kilkenny retained a strong placing in the IBAL Litter Leagues, finishing second.
Pipped by Cavan from securing the top spot for the second year in a row, Kilkenny continues to impress the judges.
The Kilkenny An Taisce report stated: “Congratulations to the citizens and local authority of Kilkenny - an excellent result – what is noticeable about Kilkenny and other very high ranking towns / cities is the great care that is taken in the overall presentation of the environment and it is not just about litter. In Kilkenny’s instance this pertains to the Main Street, Market Cross Shopping Centre and James Stephen’s GAA. All of the approach roads were top ranking, even along the R697 when road works were taking places.”
The survey, carried out by An Taisce, showed three-quarters of areas to be as clean, or cleaner, than European norms.
IBAL says towns are suffering from the growing number of vacant properties, typically shops and apartments, which serve as magnets for litter and graffiti. “No town is spared the challenge of managing such unused premises – they are a function of the rise in out-of-town shopping and the recession,” says Dr Tom Cavanagh of IBAL. “However, great creativity has been shown in certain areas, notably Galway’s West End, in encouraging pop-up shops, murals and civic spaces to replace what would otherwise be depressed derelict sites,”.
The litter inspectors carried out specific surveys of recycling facilities, hotels and sports facilities in the towns and cities concerned.
IBAL expressed ‘disappointment’ that 7 in 10 recycling centres nationwide were littered, and a number were litter blackspots. By contrast, sports grounds fared especially well, with over 80% deemed to be litter-free, as did hotel grounds, with three-quarters free of litter.