The litter report was published on Monday. Photo: Elizabeth McDaniel

City centre drops in new litter survey

There were mixed results for Cork in the latest Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) report.

It's the first post-lockdown survey by IBAL and shows Cork city centre has dropped to ‘littered’, alongside Mahon and Cork Northside. Fermoy again was ‘clean’ and in seventh position in the ranking of 40 areas nationwide.

Although most Irish towns have cleaned up over the past 12 months, litter in the main cities has worsened to levels not seen in ten years, IBAL said. Portlaoise emerged as the cleanest town. The study found no fall-off in PPE litter across the country.

Fermoy report

The An Taisce report for Fermoy said Fermoy has again delivered a first-class showing. Based on the window display at Munster House, there is clearly a very strong emphasis on litter and the environment, where many awards and campaigns have been displayed. There was plenty of new Keep Fermoy Tidy signage throughout the town and the facility for the disposal of compostable cups is a great one. Top-ranking sites included the River Walk, Patrick Street, all the approach roads and Fermoy Town Park. The latter was particularly clean and tidily maintained. It is one of the few places which acknowledges that cigarette butts and dog fouling are litter. By far the most heavily littered site was a miscellaneous site along R639 across the road from the IDA site as well as the casual discarding of food related litter, miscellaneous items were building up over the low wall.

Cork city centre report

Cork city centre has been a strong performer for a number of years but there was a definite slide in the performance this time around. Many of the poorer ranking sites in 2020 have failed to show any or much improvement like Commons Road, Lower John Street or St Patrick’s Quay. With so many seriously littered and neglected sites, it does impact on Cork’s overall ranking. Experience shows that heavily littered and neglected sites tend to attract more litter and abuse. Top ranking sites included Harley’s Street, Princes Street, Kennedy Park, St Patrick’s Street and the recycle facility at Wilton Shopping Centre.

Mahon report

There has been little change in Mahon since the previous survey. It was great to see the community initiative at Walkway next to Estuary on Jacob’s Island. A change for the better was noted at the car park at Lakelands. While still poorly presented there were no visible litter issues of note. Ave de Rennes has improved in terms of general presentation, and this appears to be reflected in a somewhat improved litter situation. Mahon continues to suffer from a number of heavily littered sites. By far the most heavily littered was the pedestrian link from Ringmahon Road to Aldi. It would seem that only superficial cleaning is taking place as there were heavy accumulations of alcohol related litter at the base of the shrubbery.

Cork Northside report

Overall, Cork Northside has failed to improve on past IBAL surveys. There is some evidence of what looks like ‘community clean up’ activity and green areas are being managed. The cutting of vegetation along roadways revealed a lot of chopped up long-lie litter. Time and time again, plastic bottles were observed at many of the littered sites. Some deterioration was noted at Old Mallow Road and Popham’s Road. Many of the poorer ranking sites weren’t just casually littered but dumping had taken place like Red Forge Road, Old Mallow Road, Dublin Hill, Sunvalley Drive and particularly at Ballyvolane Road and Churchfield Avenue.

2021 is the 19th year of the IBAL Anti-Litter League.