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Northside struggles in litter league

Thursday, 9th January, 2020 9:06am

The northside of Cork city has once again come in at the bottom of the latest litter league. The area took second last place with just one ‘clean’ site found out of 25 surveyed, while improvements were noted in Mahon.

However, it was not all bad news for Cork, with the city centre placing seventh and Fermoy and Midleton performing well in the litter survey from business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL).

The northside is still ‘littered’ in 39th spot in the ranking of 40 towns and cities, while Mahon has improved to ‘moderately littered’.

Head of the Environment Department at Cork City Hall, Valerie O'Sullivan said: “We are very pleased that Cork city centre has again performed well in the litter survey. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the city council’s street sweeping crews who are out seven days a week from early morning to late in the evening. The improvement in the ranking of Mahon reflects the focusing of resources in the area by both the Litter Management and Cleansing sections in recent months. However the ranking in relation to the north city area is disappointing and does not reflect the work carried out by both the city council and community groups in these areas.”

An Taisce conducted the surveys on behalf of IBAL, its comments for the area were as follows:


A sense of community is very much in evidence in Fermoy, winner of the league last year. Clearly the Tidy Towns group is a very active one, not just with regard to litter but also in terms of awards for shop fronts and relating to items of history within the town like information notice on history of Mart Car Park. With so many top ranking sites, a few deserve a special mention like Fermoy Town Park, which is always an exceptionally well presented and maintained environment, O’Neill Crowley Quay and Patrick Street. The one area which brought down the overall appearance of Fermoy was the recycle facility beside Mart Car Park which was by far the most heavily littered site in the town. The recycle facility in the Library Car Park was also littered.

A good result for Midleton, which was brought down by a couple of heavily littered sites. Top ranking sites included Midleton Town Park, which An Taisce said was a beautifully maintained town park environment, Market Green Shopping Centre and the Main Street. These sites were not just clean but were well presented and maintained. The clothing recycle facility at Distillery Road Car Park and one other location were cited as being seriously littered.

Another strong performance by Cork city with almost half the sites surveyed getting the top litter grade, a large number just moderately littered and just a couple of poor sites.

Some examples of the very good top ranking sites included the riverwalk and Lee Fields, Bishop Lucey Park, UCC and Grand Parade.

By far the most heavily littered site was the former Crow's Nest site at Victoria Cross which was a litter blackspot. It wasn’t just littered, dumping had taken place.

It is shocking that there was just one ‘clean’ site in the 25 surveyed, with several previously good areas having dropped in standard. Re-useable plastic bags turned up at a number of sites, with no evidence of cleansing being undertaken during the surveys and many long lie littered sites showing no evidence of clearance or maintenance. Banduff Road, Upper Fairhill and the Churchfield and Kilmore weren’t just casually littered but suffered from domestic dumping. Also, there was evidence of dumping along Assumption Road and Glen Avenue. Mayfield Industrial Estate and Sunvalley Park were by far the most heavily littered sites, both subject to dumping.

From a relatively low base a number of years ago, Mahon has seen an improvement, but suffers from a lack of litter-free sites.

The residential area of Mahon Drive, while not top ranking it was noticeably better than previously. The top ranking sites were Skehard Road, City Gate Business Park and Mahon Point Recycle Facility which was a particularly fresh and well maintained facility.

The most seriously littered sites were St Michael’s Cemetery Car Park, the residential area of The Maples and open space off Ringmahon Road, which wasn’t just littered but had an abandoned car.

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