WATERFORD has scored well in the latest litter survey. Although it has slipped down the ranking slightly, the city centre is graded ‘clean to European norms’. It is third in that category and No 16 overall, out of 40 locations surveyed by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) League.
There was a blackspot, however. Ballybeg failed to retain its ‘clean’ status. It is now rated “moderately littered” and placed at No 34.
An Taisce, which carried out the survey for IBAL, said: “Waterford deserves much praise. Plunkett Train Station deserves a special mention for the overall presentation and maintenance of the exterior environment – mural, plaques and planting are lovely.
“The ‘Cultural Quarter’ was an excellent environment in terms of both overall presentation and litter – it was spotless throughout. The Mall, Barronstrand Street, Hanover Street and Great George’s Street were also all top ranking.
The People’s Park was a wonderful site – clearly it is a much respected and cared for environment.
The report slammed the New Street Community Garden:
“By far the most heavily littered site surveyed in Waterford city – this beautifully laid out ‘pocket park’ in the centre of the city has been very poorly respected, to the extent that it would be unpleasant to sit and enjoy. It wasn’t just littered but subjected to dumping, eg duvet and clothing items. Where does responsibility for this site lie? Bus Eireann Bus Depot and the Bottle / Clothing Bank directly outside were both very poor.”
The report said the Waterford Walls initiative was worth noting: “It has added some welcome colour in otherwise run down / bleak environments, with the added bonus of adding some ‘art’ throughout the city.”
On Ballybeg, An Taisce said: “Ballybeg’s result suffered due to two litter blackspots. The Horticultural Project Initiative (subject to long-term dumping, eg mattresses and bedding) and an area beside the GAA Club both need attention as they will only encourage further dumping. Top ranking sites included Ballybeg Community Project, St Saviour’s GAA Club and the residential areas of Glencarra and Priory Lawn.”
Kilkenny city topped the rankings for the fifth time, ahead of Athlone and Killarney. The centres of three cities, Dublin, Cork and Galway, were cleaner than previously, with only Limerick failing to achieve Clean status.
For the first time in three years, an area received the lowest grade of ‘litter blackspot’. The Dublin district of Ballymun recorded one of the worst results since the league was founded 17 years ago.
“An indication of the progress we’ve made over past five years has been the absence of litter blackspots in our survey,” said IBAL’s Conor Horgan.
“However, as the Ballymun and other results show, there has been little if any progress in disadvantaged areas of our cities. The gap between these areas and the commercial high-footfall commercial city centres is widening.”