Litter is a common sight at bring banks in Drogheda.
Drogheda is becoming more and more littered and this has meant that the town has slipped to 21st out of 37 towns in the latest nationwide litter survey by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) the results of which were published today.
The second such report since the Covid-19 pandemic reveals a continued rise in litter levels across the country, with further increases in PPE and coffee cup litter in particular.
Kilkenny topped the rankings for 2020 for a record 5th time, while Ballymun and Dublin’s North Inner City were both seriously littered. For the first time in 13 years, fewer than half of the towns surveyed were deemed clean.
Litter levels rose in 24 of the 37 towns and cities inspected by An Taisce at the end of 2020, resulting in only 17 being judged to be clean – a fall of over 25% on last summer and in sharp contrast to just 3 years ago, when 80% were clean.
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According to IBAL, the decline in cleanliness is less a case of the poorer areas getting worse, but of previously clean towns slipping to littered,” says IBAL spokesperson Conor Horgan.
“Covid is clearly a factor here, but we should never accept litter as inevitable. It comes down to people disposing of their waste without regard for their surroundings or their fellow citizens and it is entirely unnecessary.”
“While council workers have not been on the streets as much as normal, the general public has been spending more time than ever out of doors,” says Mr Horgan.
Coffee cups were among the most prevalent litter types found, while there was another rise in glass bottles and cans, suggesting that outdoor drinking has not waned over the winter months. The survey also showed that the second half of 2020 brought a further increase in PPE-related litter, primarily masks.
Having regained its clean status last summer, Drogheda has again fallen to moderately littered.
By far the most heavily littered site surveyed was the Bring Centre on Trinity Street – it wasn’t just casually littered but copious quantities of items had been stuffed between the units and domestic refuse had been discarded. There were a number of other littered sites. Here are some of the judges comments:
St. Dominic’s Park is a wonderful park environment which was very well presented and maintained, with a complete absence of litter throughout. Other examples of top-ranking sites included the riverside environment of Fiddle Case Pier and Drogheda Train Station.
Fiddle Case Pier: Grade A. There was a virtual absence of litter at this waterside environment. Area was enhanced by wooden planter boxes and surrounding warehouse style buildings looked well.
Newtown Link Road Enterprise / Industrial Estate: Grade B+. A small litter presence (mostly food related items) took away from an otherwise well-presented and maintained environment.
R132 Dublin Approach Road: Grade A. The overall impression along this route was a clean and tidy one, with a virtual absence of litter throughout. One of the road signs, attached to a railing, had significant graffiti.
West Street: Grade C+. The streetscape was well presented with colourful planting in planter boxes; paving was in very good order and created a fresh impression. There was a mix of style of street bins, the older ones looking a bit grubby and some of them were overflowing, Litter was very obvious along West Street, in no particular area but just a significant presence.
Drogheda Train Station: Grade A. A very clean and tidy environment with negligible litter. All aspects of the area surveyed were in good condition.
N51 from Hill of Rath Roundabout to Rosehall Roundabout: Grade B. Casually discarded food related items took away from an otherwise freshly presented route. Grasslands / verges were recently cut / maintained.
St. Lawrence Street: Grade C+. As well as casual litter along the street there were accumulations behind some blue railings and in various basements. Colourful artwork took the bare look off what might otherwise be a poorly presented premises.
Bring Centre on Trinity Street R168: Grade D. Signage relating to the use of the facility was clear and legible with specific ‘Do’s and Don’ts’. This is being widely ignored. The front of the units created a very untidy impression, and the broken glass was a hazard. Copious quantities of items had been stuffed between and behind the units and household refuse had been discarded.
Bothar Brugha: Grade B. The signage for this residential area was very old, illegible, in need of repair/replacement. Dog fouling and food related litter were obvious along the pavement / kerb. The litter was a mix of both recent and ‘long-lie’.
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