CARLOW town has come close to the bottom of the charts in this year’s Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) league, with only parts of Dublin, Cork and Galway cities being dirtier.
Members of An Taisce inspect every major town and city in the country every year for the IBAL league and rate them on their cleanliness. Shockingly, Carlow town came in at number 35 out of 40 locations and was described as being “moderately littered”, while neighbouring Kilkenny and Waterford both made the top ten of being the cleanest.
The damning report by the inspectors, released yesterday, Monday, said that “Carlow continues to lag behind other towns in coming up short of clean status.
“I am disappointed considering the amount of time, effort and resources, both personnel and financial, that the council puts into improving the appearance of the town,” said Dan McInerney, director of transportation, environment and water services, building control and emergency services.
“We’re not getting up there (in the league table). “In terms of expenditure, we’re spending huge money on cleaning up after people who are littering or dumping. It’s not that we’re not trying. We’ve gone to a lot of bother putting in facilities; for example, at the bottle banks, and people still litter.”
Set up in 1996, Irish Business Against Litter is an alliance of companies sharing a belief that continued economic prosperity ‒ notably in the areas of tourism, food and direct foreign investment ‒ is contingent on a clean, litter-free environment.
As part of the IBAL Anti-Litter League, An Taisce monitors towns independently and in accordance with international grading standards.
The IBAL report praised Carlow Town Park and the Millennium Bridge as “an exceptionally good site ‒ it has been beautifully laid out and clearly it is a very well respected environment”.
However, inspectors found that the “moderately littered” sites included Tullow Street, the public car park at Haymarket/Barrow Track and Carlow Shopping Centre.
“The shopping area of Homesavers (Tullow Street) and its environs was seriously littered – it is a smallish space and should be very manageable in terms of cleaning. The M9 – from the Dublin exit at M7 to the Carlow Exit for N80 ‒ was also poor with regard to litter,” the report concluded.
Fermoy was deemed the cleanest place in Ireland, with Athlone, Killarney and Naas filling the other top four places.
Mr McInerney, meanwhile, said that though he was “disappointed” with the result for Carlow, the council remains unbowed by litter louts and serious fly-tippers.
“We spend a lot of time and money cleaning up after people and we’ll continue to do that. We’ll continue to do our best,” he concluded.