Saturday, July 13, 2024

Ireland cleaner since Deposit Return Scheme launch – Business Plus

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Ireland is cleaner since the Deposit Return Scheme started four months ago, a national survey has found.

There has been a fall in the number of cans and plastic bottles on our streets which has improved litter levels. Out of 40 towns and cities, Naas, Co Kildare was top of the rankings, but Dublin city centre is still ‘littered,’ the survey by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) reveals.

The study, conducted by An Taisce on behalf of IBAL, showed a healthy rise in the number of towns reaching the upper tier of cleanliness – “Cleaner than European Norms” – and a fall of 35% in the number of towns branded ‘littered’.

Naas regained the top position it lost last year to neighbouring Maynooth, ahead of Monaghan and new entrant Blanchardstown in Dublin. Ballybane in Galway city slipped to the bottom of the rankings, followed by Dublin city centre, Dublin’s north inner city and Ballymun, which failed to maintain its improvement of last year.

IBAL’s Conor Horgan said: “Our study paints a much better picture than a few years ago, with levels of cleanliness definitely rising. Once again, no town was judged to be either a ‘litter blackspot’ or ‘heavily littered’ – that’s real progress, progress that has been hard-earned in our cities.”

City areas fared well compared to last year, with notable improvements in Limerick city, Mahon in Cork and Dublin’s Tallaght. Limerick South (Galvone) recorded its best-ever result. However, this is the fourth survey in a row in which Dublin city centre has deteriorated.

Horgan said: “While most areas are going in a positive direction, things are in reverse in Dublin. Littered streets simply do not square with the high prices our visitors face in the capital, and threaten our long-term tourism prospects.”

Among the black spots were a basement at Lamb Alley in Dublin which had “vast quantities of alcohol cans, broken windows, and all manner of food litter”; Balbutcher Lane in Ballymun, where dumped items included traffic cones, car parts, and carpets; and Fairfield Meadows on the northside of Cork city, which had “monumental levels of dumping.”

There was a near-30% fall in the prevalence of can-related litter since the previous survey. Plastic bottles were also less common than in any previous survey, but remain the third most common form of litter. Cigarette butts were present in 31% of the 500+ sites surveyed.

“We can expect further improvement as people become accustomed to the Deposit Return Scheme and the legacy non-returnable items are flushed out of the system. Ultimately, we should see can and plastic bottle litter disappear entirely,” Horgan said.

Naas is Ireland’s tidiest town, according to IBAL.

Cleaner than European Norms

1 Naas, Co. Kildare
2 Monaghan town
3 Blanchardstown, Dublin
4 Kilkenny city
5 Ennis, Co. Clare
6 Castlebar, Co. Mayo
7 Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
8 Sligo town
9 Mallow, Co. Cork
10 Killarney, Co. Kerry
11 Ballybeg, Waterford
12 Waterford city
13 Dublin Airport environs
14 Maynooth, Co. Kildare

Clean to European Norms

15 Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
16 Arklow, Co. Wicklow
17 Portlaoise, Co. Laois
18 Carlow town
19 Tullamore, Co. Offaly
20 Drogheda, Co. Louth
21 Galway city centre
22 Wexford town
23 Cavan town

Moderately littered

24 Cork city centre
25 Tralee, Co. Kerry
26 Athlone, Co. Westmeath
27 Buncrana, Co. Donegal
28 Tallaght, Dublin
29 Limerick South
30 Dundalk, Co. Louth
31 Navan, Co. Meath
32 Mahon, Cork city
33 Limerick city centre
34 Roscommon town
35 Longford town

Littered

36 Cork northside
37 Ballymun, Dublin
38 Dublin north inner city
39 Dublin city centre
40 Ballybane, Galway city

(Pic: RollingNews.ie)

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