Drogheda rises again in the ranks of Ire­land’s clean­est towns

Drogheda Independent - - NEWS - BY ALI­SON COMYN

DROGHEDA is in the top 10 clean­est towns in Ire­land, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est lit­ter rank­ings.

Ac­cord­ing to the fi­nal IBAL lit­ter sur­vey of 2018 by busi­ness group Ir­ish Busi­ness Against Lit­ter (IBAL), Drogheda joins Dun­dalk and Na­van as towns which are all ‘ Cleaner than Euro­pean Norms’ and all lie in­side the top 10 in the rank­ing of 40 town and cities.

The Drogheda re­port pointed out a fur­ther im­prove­ment for Drogheda last year, well in­side the top ten in the IBAL ta­ble.

“All the ap­proach roads to the town got the top lit­ter grade, cre­at­ing a pos­i­tive first im­pres­sion of the town,” stated the re­port. “Other top-rank­ing sites of note were Old Abbey Lane and West Street – the lat­ter’s paving and streetscape were par­tic­u­larly good. Both of these en­vi­ron­ments pre­sented well and were clear of lit­ter. There were no heav­ily lit­tered sites”.

Com­ment­ing on the re­port, Min­is­ter for Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Cli­mate Ac­tion and En­vi­ron­ment Richard Bruton said that com­bat­ing lit­ter is part of a much wider chal­lenge.

“Lit­ter is a very tan­gi­ble, vis­i­ble ex­am­ple of the kind of dam­age that is be­ing done” he added. “It is vi­tal that com­mu­ni­ties, busi­nesses and lo­cal author­i­ties in towns all across Ire­land, work to­gether to man­age waste prop­erly and re­duce lit­ter.

“I hope the recog­ni­tion these awards pro­vide spur oth­ers on to come to­gether to make changes in their lo­cal ar­eas.”

Just un­der 90% of towns sur­veyed were deemed clean, a slight im­prove­ment on the pre­vi­ous year, with Athlone and Kil­lar­ney fin­ish­ing just be­hind Fer­moy. While Gal­way City reg­is­tered its best re­sult in years, al­most half of city ar­eas were lit­tered, among them Bally­bane in Gal­way and Dublin’s North In­ner City, which were both ‘se­ri­ously lit­tered’.

Dis­ad­van­taged ur­ban ar­eas oc­cu­pied the bot­tom five places in the rank­ings. “Three years ago we de­lib­er­ately shone a spot­light on spe­cific city ar­eas in the hope that the at­ten­tion would spur coun­cils and com­mu­ni­ties into ac­tion,” com­mented Conor Hor­gan of IBAL.

“It is fair to say we have seen no no­tice­able im­prove­ment in any of these ar­eas - nor have we seen much by way of sub­stan­tial mea­sures to them turn around.” “The his­toric de­vel­op­ment of large ar­eas of so­cial hous­ing has shaped a “them and us” so­ci­ety and the gap is widen­ing. Lit­ter is a symp­tom of a greater malaise and keep­ing these ar­eas as clean and well pre­sented as the rest of a city would over time have sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits. We need lo­cal author­i­ties to take the lead.”

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