VISITORS ARRIVING AT Dublin Airport are being greeted by litter blackspots, according to a new survey by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL).
Although tourists find “immaculate” conditions at the airport when they land, the surrounding roads are described as being spoiled by dumping, casual litter and “all manner of rubbish”.
Fingal Council has said it cleans the environs once a year but IBAL has said this is not adequate as more than half of overseas visitors to Ireland come through Dublin Airport. The group has called for adequate schedules for such key routes to be made public.
“We’re finding that the main roads by which visitors reach tourist areas are often littered, which undermines the great work being done in the tourist areas themselves,” commented chairman of IBAL, Dr Tom Cavanagh.
“The roads around Dublin Airport are just one example. 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’s major routes many miles from town.
Here we need more accountability from those charged with cleaning them – that means publishing schedules like we have in Northern Ireland.”
The Navan Road was noted as a particular blackspot, as was the road to Galway at Palmerstown. Outside of Dublin, the Blarney approach road in Cork was heavily littered.
Dublin’s North Inner City was again holding up the IBAL leageue, registering its worst results in a decade. Citing neglect, An Taisce said several areas which were heavily littered in 2011 were in an even “worse state” this year. Spencer Dock, North Strand and Summerhill were singled out as particularly affected areas.
“Unfortunately, you don’t have to venture far from O’Connell Street to be confronted with constant litter, dog fouling and neglect,” said Cavanagh. “The business people and residents of these areas deserve better from the authority.”
Despite the criticism of the Dublin areas, the overall survey deemed a record percentage of towns and cities clean. More then three quarters of the 42 towns and cities examined were given positive grades.
Cavan was named Ireland’s cleanest towns, while another 17 were rated “cleaner than European norms”. Cavan was described by An Taisce inspectors as a “town that clearly takes great pride in its environment”.
Tallaght’s rating improved from “moderately littered” to “clean to European norms” in the latest survey. Train and bus stations also showed marked improvements with just one station (in Ennis) being deemed “littered”. Schools have also achieved better results this year, with only two of 60 inspected found to be in a littered state (St McCartans College, Monaghan and Ennis Community School).
An Taisce monitors towns of population of 6,000 or more as part of the IBAL Anti-Litter League.