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IBAL And An Taisce Say Nenagh Litter Blackspot

Bin your litter

Carlow was today announced as the cleanest town in Ireland at a ceremony in Dublin today, in the 2010 survey of litter levels in 53 towns and cities, by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL).

The winning town was presented with a special plaque by Dr Tom Cavanagh, Chairman of IBAL, who criticised the Government, local and Urban District County Councils for failing to fully tackle the issue of litter, which shows slow signs of reducing.

To mark its success, Carlow will receive a number of trees for planting locally.

IBAL’s Anti-Litter League which commenced in 2002, was developed to attempt to mobilise local authorities into action on the subject of litter. Recent results show 36 out of 55 towns are ‘Clean to European Norms’ compared to only 2 when the survey began in 2002.

The success to-date of IBAL’s Anti-Litter League programme lies in its transparency. It involves An Taisce,who regularly monitor litter levels in towns and cities across Ireland according to international standards. The areas are then ranked in a league table format.

Initially comprising 27 areas, the League has grown to include over 50 towns and city areas and is now co-funded by the Department of the Environment. All towns of over 6,000 inhabitants are now covered by the Anti Litter League.

The ultimate objective of the League is to ensure all towns in Ireland are ‘litter-free’, which equates to 80 points or more out of 100.

Portlaoise was branded Ireland’s dirtiest town, closely followed by Nenagh in Co Tipperary, latter the political capital of North Tipperary. Dr Tom Cavanagh said Town Managers and Councilors should be out and about seeing what is going on throughout towns as regards littering.

IBAL now wants people to become litter “whistle-blowers” by photographing black-spots in their areas and sending the pictures to the organisation, which, in turn, will pass them on to the relevant local authority. They are inviting people to submit photos as part of a “litter twitter” campaign to alert local authorities to litter-ridden areas.

The report blames a lack of co-ordination between local councils and the National Roads Authority for litter problems. Dr Tom Cavanagh said that city authorities faced challenges such as the prevalence of dumping, discarded fast-food and litter connected with late-night activity. Chewing gum on pavements is tarnishing the overall environment Dr Cavanagh said and a clean Ireland was critical to enhancing our international reputation.

Photos can be emailed to litterspotter.2010@twitpic.com.

If you like looking at litter, you might be interested in IBAL’s Twitter account at twitter.com/litterspotter – pics on view include that of a littered bus stop in Clondalkin and the back of an abandoned bed lying in a river.

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