Cork towns fare well in litter survey but city lags behind
Three Cork towns have performed exceptionally well in the latest litter survey by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL). Fermoy, Cobh and Youghal were among 18 towns that were rated 'Cleaner than European Norms'.
However, Cork City was rated as still 'moderately littered' and came in 34th position in the ranking of 42 towns and cities in this nationwide study.
"After a slight drop for a short while, Fermoy is very much back at the top end of the IBAL Anti-Litter League with eight of the ten sites surveyed getting the top litter grade. The other two sites were moderately littered and there were no bad sites. The surveyor noted that the sites were not just clear of litter but very well maintained and this is what sets Fermoy and other high ranking towns apart.
"Three of the four approach roads were in very good order as were McCurtain Street, Patrick Street, Richmond Hill and College Road."
"Cobh has scored very highly this time round and has come a long way from a few years ago when it was very much towards the bottom of the IBAL Anti-Litter league. This time round there were seven top ranking sites out of a total of ten surveyed and there were no seriously littered sites.
"Some of the top ranking sites included Five Foot Way, Cobh Railway Station and White Point Road and Strand, these sites deserve a special mention not just because they were clear of litter but the way in which the overall environment was presented and maintained.
"There was obviously a certain focus on Cobh for the Titanic Centenary and Cobh Railway Station was marking 150 Years, but the approach roads into Cobh should be better," said the comment from An Taisce.
"It was a very good result for Youghal with six top ranking sites out of a total of ten surveyed and the remainder were moderately littered. There were no bad sites. Three of the four approach roads were very good and Bunscóil Mhuire was very well maintained and there was an absence of litter along Ashe Street," said the comment from An Taisce.
The survey also pointed out that Cork City should aim to be Clean to European Norms and to achieve this, both approach roads and ring roads around the city would have to be cleaner.
"Just over half of the sites surveyed got the top litter grade and the majority of the city centre sites were in very good condition, not just of litter but very well presented and maintained like St. Patrick's Quay, Parnell Place, StPatrick's Street, Emmet Place and the English Market.
"For the first time ever in the IBAL Anti-Litter survey, the North Ring Road got the top litter grade and hopefully this effort can be sustained and that the road manages to maintain this status.
"Perhaps this effort could become more widespread as many of the seriously littered sites were the approach roads like the Blarney Approach, Lee Road and the Old Youghal Road. Anderson's Quay was also a poor site with much of the litter alcohol related, " said the comment from An Taisce.
Despite continuing improvements in the cleanliness of our cities and towns, the survey also revealed that the environs of Dublin Airport to be a litter blackspot and approach rounds around Dublin and Cork were cited as littered, notably the Blarney approach road in Cork.
"The IBAL League has seen the cleanliness of key destinations such as Cork and Galway improve greatly in recent years, but the routes by which they are accessed let them down. In some cases it's the immediate approach roads, where the town and county councils are not working together. In others it is the major routes many miles from towns and here we need accountability from those charged with cleaning them," said Dr Tom Cavanagh, Chairman of IBAL.
"The overall result here is hugely positive, with 43 per cent of our towns and cities cleaner that the European average, something we could not have dared to hope for just a few years back. Certain strategically important areas, particularly around Dublin and Cork , need to be tackled to complete the job as the negative impression they leave risks undoing much of the good work elsewhere around the country."