Kilkenny has been adjudged 'cleaner than European norms'
Kilkenny City has been deemed 'cleaner than European norms', but has continued to fall down the rankings of an anti-litter rankings table it has previously dominated for consecutive years.
The latest survey by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) shows Kilkenny is deemed 'cleaner than European norms', in 15th position in the ranking of 40 towns and cities. IBAL's rankings in January of this year showed Kilkenny in 11th place, down from the number one position in September 2016, and from previously having topped the litter league three years in a row.
An Taisce assesses litter levels in 40 towns and cities on behalf of IBAL. This time, Tullamore topped the rankings, followed by Dublin Airport Environs and Leixlip.
“It may not be topping the charts it once dominated, but Kilkenny can be again proud of its Cleaner than European Norms designation," says the An Taisce report.
"Litter pickers were noted at High Street and Kilkenny Castle on a Sunday afternoon – this might be one of the contributing factors of what sets Kilkenny and other high ranking towns apart. All approach roads leading to Kilkenny got the top litter grade and the Train Station also scored very well.
"A couple of sites which were less well presented were the Derelict Site at Irishtown and a commercial premises along the R712 – the latter was not just heavily littered but also poorly maintained.”
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.
“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.”
While no area was brandished a 'litter blackspot', Galvone in Limerick City was again seriously littered, while Dublin North Inner City and Cork City North were littered.
“Be it in cities or in towns, we enjoy a much cleaner environment than 15 years ago, but litter has not gone away,“ warns Conor Horgan.
“This summer we again had examples of extreme littering on beaches for examples, which display a worrying indifference to the natural environment. Marine litter is a source of great concern at present and an issue IBAL may concentrate more on in the future.”
“Also, dumping appears to be on the increase, and the more we ask people to pay for waste disposal the greater an issue it is likely to become. It may not be as widespread, but dumping is the new litter in many respects."