Waterford & Thurles have been listed among Ireland's cleanest towns and cities.
Meanwhile, Kildare has been announced as the cleanest town in Ireland.
The announcement was made at the Finale of the 2016 Anti-Litter League by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) in the Merrion Hotel in Dublin today.
Kildare finished ahead of Roscommon and Ashbourne, with Waterford City in fourth. A special public sculpture will be commissioned for the town to mark the achievement.
70% of the 40 towns and cities surveyed in 2016 were at least as clean as their European equivalents, a decrease on the previous year. There were again no litter blackspots, though only 40% of city areas surveyed were clean. It was the first time in a number of years that Kildare town had been included in the IBAL programme.
An Taisce, which conducts the surveys on behalf of IBAL, commented in its report on Kildare: “It is rare to find a town in such spotless condition throughout. The Link Road and both approach roads into Kildare Town got the top litter grade and this high standard was sustained for all sites surveyed.”
Congratulating Kildare, Conor Horgan of IBAL announced that once again a foremost artist would be commissioned in conjunction with the community at large to create a significant public sculpture in the town in recognition of its success. “Each year IBAL intends to mark the winning town’s achievement with a permanent piece of art that will enhance the local environment.”
The top 5 towns in last year’s league – Kildare, Roscommon, Ashbourne, Waterford and Thurles - will all receive an Emperor Lime tree courtesy of the Irish Tree Centre in Cork.
This year’s IBAL results again illustrated how dumping is at the heart of Ireland’s litter problem, with 60% of those sites deemed “heavily littered” showing evidence of dumping. “While litter levels have decreased over the past decade, dumping appears to be on the rise,” says Horgan.
“The problem is becoming less about cleaning up after kids have dropped sweet papers on the main street. It’s about people deliberately and covertly evading bin charges by illegally disposing of their
rubbish on wasteland or derelict sites, which then become magnets for all sorts of litter. Dumping needs to be higher on the political agenda, as it’s an issue that really matters to people, and to our economy.”
2016 IBAL ANTI-LITTER LEAGUE – FINAL STANDINGS
1 Kildare Cleaner than European Norms
2 Roscommon Cleaner than European Norms
3 Ashbourne Cleaner than European Norms
4 Waterford City Cleaner than European Norms
5 Thurles Cleaner than European Norms
6 Enniscorthy Cleaner than European Norms
7 Ennis Cleaner than European Norms
8 Fermoy Cleaner than European Norms
9 Dublin Airport Environs Cleaner than European Norms
10 Shannon Cleaner than European Norms
11 Kilkenny Cleaner than European Norms
12 Killarney Cleaner than European Norms
13 Carrick on Shannon Cleaner than European Norms
14 Maynooth Clean to European Norms
15 Longford Clean to European Norms
16 Monaghan Clean to European Norms
17 Portlaoise Clean to European Norms
18 Cork City Clean to European Norms
19 Tallaght Clean to European Norms
20 Ballybeg (Waterford City) Clean to European Norms
21 Navan Clean to European Norms
22 Sligo Clean to European Norms
23 Athlone Clean to European Norms
24 Stillorgan (South Dublin) Clean to European Norms
25 Carlow Clean to European Norms
26 Dundalk Clean to European Norms
27 Cavan Clean to European Norms
28 Bray Moderately littered
29 Ballinasloe Moderately littered
30 Castlebar Moderately littered
31 Dublin City Centre Moderately littered
32 Limerick City Moderately littered
33 Galway City Moderately littered
34 Ballybane (Galway City) Moderately littered
35 Letterkenny Littered
36 Mahon (Cork City) Littered
37 Ballymun (North Dublin) Littered
38 Dublin North Inner City Seriously littered
39 Farranree (Cork City) Seriously littered
40 Galvone (Limerick City) Seriously littered