Tralee Placed 15th In Latest Irish Business Against Litter Survey

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TRALEE was placed 15th in the first Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) survey since the Covid-19 crisis, while Killarney was in 3rd spot in the ranking of 40 towns and cities nationwide.

Tralee was considered ‘Clean To European Norms’ in the survey, but it was a drop from their 6th place ranking in the January survey when it was considered ‘Cleaner Than European Norms’.

There was a dramatic fall in the number of towns and cities deemed to be ‘clean’, to its lowest level since 2007. Kilkenny was again judged best of the surveyed, with ‘seriously littered’ Dublin North Inner City at the foot of the table. The survey showed PPE litter to be widespread and a rise in the prevalence of cans and glass bottles.

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The Taisce report for Tralee stated: “Despite slipping from ‘Cleaner than European Norms’, Tralee has scored well, with notable improvements at sites such as  Boherbee and Castle Street Upper. Importantly, there were no very poor sites. It would seem that the ‘anti cigarette butt campaign’ is having a positive impact throughout Tralee. There is still room for improvement on litter signage – this could work in conjunction with other similar campaigns.  Another observation was the lack of dog fouling throughout the sites surveyed.”

An Taisce, who carried out the survey, deemed 23 towns to be ‘clean’, a fall of over 20% on last year.

The number of towns reaching the highest cleanliness level – Cleaner than European Norms – dropped by a quarter to 9, with Kilkenny edging out Athlone, Killarney and Portlaoise at the top of the rankings.

While no area was branded a “litter blackspot”, North Inner City Dublin was once again seriously littered, as was Galvone in Limerick City, which fell back from last year.

In the fight against Covid-19, local authorities have curtailed cleaning schedules and diverted resources to other areas.

At the same time, households have been generating more litter during lockdown and there has been a visible increase in drinking outdoors as pubs are closed, a fact borne out by the rise in bottles and cans found by the An Taisce inspectors, Galway City being one example.

However, there was a reduction in cigarette butts, perhaps also a reflection of pubs and offices being closed. Half of all recycle facilities surveyed were heavily littered, another likely consequence of the Covid crisis.  PPE litter was prevalent across the country, with masks 5 times as common as gloves.

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