Waste in Irish cities is worsening to levels “not seen in 10 years”


Waste in Irish cities has worsened to levels “not seen in 10 years”, a new survey has revealed.

The first post-containment investigation by Irish Business Against Litter has shown that while the majority of Irish towns have been cleaned up in the past 12 months, waste in major towns has worsened.

North Dublin city center has been called a “waste black spot”, while Portlaoise has emerged as the cleanest of 40 areas surveyed nationwide.

An Taisce, who conducted the survey on behalf of Irish Business Against Litter (IBAl), said only two of the 25 locations surveyed in north Dublin city center were clean.

The lack of clean venues was “striking and helped make it one of the worst results of any region since the inception of IBAL. [litter] League 19 years ago, ”says its report.

“In addition, nearly 70 percent of the sites were heavily littered with garbage or worse, among them several that had come to light in previous surveys,” An Taisce said.

After north Dublin city center, the worst places for waste were Limerick in the south of the city, Drogheda, Ballybeg in Waterford and Dublin city center.

The five cleanest places were Portlaoise, followed by Leixlip, Ennis, Arklow and Dún Laoghaire.

Ten years ago, Portlaoise was at the bottom of the standings but is now at the top of the standings, an achievement hailed by An Taisce as the result of “years of concerted effort and constant improvement”.

Across the country, the number of areas deemed clean by An Taisce dropped from 17 to 23 in the latest survey. In total, 68 percent of cities showed an improvement over last year.

Carlow and Longford

Noticeable improvement was seen in the town of Tipperary and in Carlow and Longford, both of which were ‘cleaner than European standards’.

“With the standardization of local authority cleaning schedules and the resumption of volunteer groups across the country, our cities are almost as clean as they were two years ago,” said Conor Horgan of IBAL.

However, it was “still a long way from where they were in 2014,” he said.

The majority of urban areas fared less well than in 2020, including the city centers of Dublin, Cork and Limerick, all of which were judged to be ‘littered’. Only Galway and Tallaght and Ballymun in Dublin recorded significant year-over-year improvement.

“For cities, this survey paints a grim picture,” Horgan said.

“Now that we are out of lockdown, we cannot use it as an excuse for high levels of waste.”

Mr Horgan said city councils may find it difficult to cope with “behavioral changes regarding outdoor drinking and outdoor socializing more generally.” They have multiplied the bins but nevertheless people consume more outside and this inevitably leads to waste ”.

It was a bigger problem in cities than in cities, he added.

“As we invest in promotional campaigns and build hotels in cities in anticipation of more visitors, we need to be aware of the cluttered environment we present to them. “


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