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  • Northside West

Latest IBAL litter survey highlights dumping problem in Northside areas

Thursday, 14th September, 2017 8:00am

Story by Jack Gleeson
Latest IBAL litter survey highlights dumping problem in Northside areas

Dumping has become an issue in Northside areas according to IBAL.

Latest IBAL litter survey highlights dumping problem in Northside areas

Dumping has become an issue in Northside areas according to IBAL.

THE North Inner City and Ballymun are both still suffering from litter problems according to the latest Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) survey.

Ballymun has improved slightly from last year with the area now deemed ‘moderately littered’ but the inner city came second last in the list of 40 areas surveyed.

The other Northside areas in the list - Dublin City Centre and Dublin Airport Environs - were both deemed clean. The Airport environs were deemed a ‘litter blackspot’ when first surveyed five years ago. 

IBAL says a lack of community involvement explains why certain disadvantaged urban areas continue to be plagued by litter despite improvements elsewhere.

An Taisce assess litter levels in 40 towns and cities on behalf of IBAL for the survey and 80 per cent of areas were found to be clean, with a top tier of 16 towns deemed ‘cleaner than European Norms’.

While no area was branded a ‘litter blackspot’, Galvone in Limerick City was again seriously littered, while Dublin North Inner City and Cork City North were littered.

“We haven’t seen as much improvement in these social housing areas, where communities are often transient, social neglect is evident, and community groups and tidy towns committees are lacking compared to in mixed communities,” says Conor Horgan of IBAL. “Without these volunteer forces supporting the efforts of the council, these areas will simply not be clean on a sustained basis.” 

Despite improvements in Dublin’s North Inner City, the inspectors highlighted a dumping ground near Sheriff Street Park, rubbish along the canal pathway at Guild Street and several sites suffering from “long-term abuse and neglect” rather than just casual litter. Horgan says dumping is now a real issue.

“Dumping is the new litter,” he said.

“Be it in cities or in towns, we enjoy a much cleaner environment than 15 years ago, but litter has not gone away.

“Dumping appears to be on the increase, and the more we ask people to pay for waste disposal, the greater an issue it is likely to become. It may not be as widespread, but dumping is the new litter in many respects.” 

The business group agrees with the ‘polluter pays’ principle behind the mandatory pay-by-weight collection system, but believes some of money raised should be ring-fenced for councils to tackle the increased dumping that will result from people looking to evade the charges. 

Responding to the survey results, Mary Fitzpatrick of Fianna Fáil in Dublin Central called on Dublin City Council to re-introduce domestic bin collections in the area with a waiver scheme for low income households. 

“Privatisation of domestic bin collections in Dublin’s North Inner City has not worked,” she said.

“Dublin City Council needs to admit its mistake and instead of reducing the rate of the Local Property Tax use the income to provide households in Dublin City with an affordable and reliable domestic bin collection service.“


Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here