The latest survey in the Anti-Litter League by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) shows Clonmel to have retained its status as ‘cleaner than European norms’ in 7th place, with Tipperary ‘moderately littered’ in 37th position.
Of 42 towns and cities surveyed this summer, Clonmel has moved up 3 places compared to the previous survey while Tipperary has lost its ‘Clean to European norms’ status. IBAL has warned that vacant properties in towns are a growing concern, despite continued progress on litter nationwide.
The Clonmel An Taisce report stated: “A great result for Clonmel – congratulations to the local authority and citizens of Clonmel. Seven out of the ten sites surveyed got the top litter grade. Some of the top ranking sites in Clonmel were not just clean but particularly well presented and maintained e.g. Recycle Plant, Mitchel Street and O’Connell Street. Hearn’s Hotel just missed getting the top litter grade – with a little extra care and attention this could easily be achieved.”
According to the report for Tipperary: “Disappointing result – Tipperary is trying but there is more to be done. With half of the sites surveyed getting the top litter grade Tipperary town should be well on its way to a reasonably high ranking in the IBAL Anti-Litter league – this is not the case due to one litter blackspot and one seriously littered site. The litter blackspot was at the car park adjacent to Bar Code Night Club and Venue – clearly this has suffered from long-term neglect. Not far behind it was the basketball court and environs – the court area was clean but area outside was well on its way to becoming a litter blackspot. The Clothing Bank at Tipperary Town Shopping Centre, SuperValu and Main Street were all top ranking sites – they were not just clear of litter but well presented and maintained.”
The survey, carried out by An Taisce, showed three-quarters of areas to be as clean, or cleaner, than European norms. Cavan was Ireland’s cleanest town, ahead of last year’s winner Kilkenny. Dublin, previously 5th from bottom, was ranked ‘cleaner than European norms’, and Limerick City and Cork City were both successful in attaining ‘clean to European norms’ status. 3 towns - Monaghan, Ennis and Mullingar – were branded ‘littered’, with a further 7 towns ‘moderately littered’.
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.