Drogheda and Galway inner city named as worst places in Ireland for litter
The areas were cited as being "seriously littered".
Drogheda and the Ballybane area of Galway City have been named the worst areas for litter in Ireland.
The results come from a report published by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL), an alliance of organisations that aim to create a litter-free environment.
Both towns were named as "litter blackspots", due to their low levels of cleanliness in the area.
An Taisce, who carried out the surveys on behalf of IBAL, found dumping at Ballybane Village with “all manner of litter (and) a mountain of black sacks”, citing “an incredible air of neglect” in the Industrial Estate in particular.
The prevalence of such blackspots has seen a decrease in the past number of years, with the number falling by 50% in the last year alone.
“We’ve been calling on local authorities to prioritise the very bad sites in a town or area and it seems this call has been heeded,” said IBAL spokesperson Conor Horgan.
“We see the benefits especially in urban areas, where very heavy littering and dumping was at its worst.
"It’s early days, but there are signs that the disadvantaged areas we have focussed on are finally coming good, albeit from a low base.”
Areas that saw improvements include Galvone in Limerick, Cork City's Northside, Ballymun, and Dublin's North Inner City, which went from a litter blackspot to recording its best record to date.
Over two thirds of the 40 towns surveyed in 2022 were clean to European norms, with 13 towns going above and beyond average levels across the continent.
Naas was named the cleanest town in Ireland for litter, beating out Letterkenny, Cavan, Athlone, Longford, Maynooth and others.
Covid-related litter fell dramatically, with a major decrease in PPE litter nationwide, and parks being cleaner due to a reduction in outdoor social gatherings during lockdown.
“With cleaning schedules back to normal, less PPE litter and less alcohol consumption outdoors, litter levels have fallen," Horgan added.
"However, despite improvements, the centres of our main cities are still littered at a time when we are welcoming our peak tourist numbers.
"For a high-cost destination, higher standards are required.”
Fewer blackspots, disadvantaged urban areas improving, PPE litter disappearing but not coffee cups, Naas again top ... the latest IBAL litter survey is out! So how did your town do?https://t.co/klA9PucUM5 pic.twitter.com/ZF0KuTxwKE
— Irish Business Against Litter (@IrishLitter) June 12, 2022