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  • Northside West

Survey highlights litter problem

Monday, 8th January, 2018 8:00am

Story by Jack Gleeson
Survey highlights litter problem

Litter illegally dumped in Ballymun over the Christmas holidays.

Survey highlights litter problem

Litter illegally dumped in Ballymun over the Christmas holidays.

BALLYMUN has once again ended up almost bottom of the list when it comes to litter levels in Ireland, according to a survey published by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) last week.

The Northside area came 39th out of 40 in the survey carried out by national environment and heritage watchdog, An Taisce, on behalf of IBAL.

Ballymun has actually dropped in the ranking since last year when the area finished 37th.

The result comes despite the efforts of hard working volunteers in Ballymun Tidy Towns and Dublin CIty Council’s deployment of mobile CCTV cameras targeting illegal dumping.

During 2017, Ballymun locals received widespread praise for their efforts in improving the area.

Ballymun community team, D11 Transformers, was presented with a special certificate and a prize fund of fund of €3,200 in the Dublin City Neighbourhood Awards for maintaining local laneways and green areas.

Improvements in the area were also recognised at last year’s Tidy Town Awards, with Ballymun improving from 2016 by five points.

Speaking on Newstalk last week, former Lord Mayor, Cllr Andrew Montague (Lab), said illegal dumping was still a problem in Ballymun.

“It’s really heartbreaking for the people who live here,” he said.

“They’ve to put up with that, people who are working hard, getting up early in the morning and looking after their families and they come home and find someone has dumped outside their door.”

However, Cllr Montague said there had been improvements over the past 12 months, despite the IBAL survey results.

“What’s different now is the amount of people who are fighting back,” he said. “Families are coming out and planting flowers and taking back control of their street corners.”

Ballymun Sinn Fein Councillor Noeleen Reilly, who is a member of Ballymun Tidy Towns committee, said she was disappointed at the IBAL results.

"It is very disappointing to see Ballymun highlighted as a black spot for litter,” she added.

"I don't think it is reflective of the work residents have put in over the last year in impproving the area.

"However the report does highlight that more needs to be done to tackle illegal dumping."

In better news, the North Inner City, while still described as ‘littered’ in the IBAL survey, recorded its best ever performance since it was first surveyed in 2011.

An Taisce noted an absence of littered blackspots or seriously littered sites in the North Inner City.

“A starting point on the road to cleanliness is to concentrate on very bad sites and there are signs the council are doing this,” said IBAL’s Conor Horgan.  

Continuing a trend of recent years, litter levels increased in Dublin City Centre towards the end of the year.

“The council has been successful in keeping our capital clean for the peak summer season, but less so when it is over. Cleanliness is not just for tourists – it should be year-long,” maintains Horgan.

While the main shopping street areas of Henry Street, and O’Connell Street presented particularly well, there were litter blackspots on Mountjoy Street and Capel Street. 

According to IBAL, progress in cities has been much slower than in towns, and much less consistent.

“We have seen reversals in recent improvements in Dublin City Centre and Ballymun, in a way that we have not witnessed in towns,“ explained Horgan.

“This points to a lack of community involvement which is essential to keeping an area free of litter over time.”

 

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