Dublin City Centre still battling litter while Ireland sees cleanliness gains


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Dublin City Centre is facing a growing problem with litter, even as the rest of the country sees notable improvements in cleanliness. According to the latest report from Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL), Dublin’s city center ranks as the fourth most littered area in their survey, continuing a concerning pattern from the last four assessments.

Concerns over Dublin’s growing litter

IBAL spokesperson Conor Horgan voiced significant concern about the increasing litter in Dublin’s heart. He remarked that Dublin City Centre has unfortunately become an eyesore. This is alarming, especially with the tourist season nearing, since dirty streets tarnish Ireland’s image as a tidy and inviting place.

During their inspection, An Taisce evaluators found several troubling sights in Dublin. For example, Lamb Alley was littered with numerous alcohol cans, shattered windows, and various types of food debris. This highlights the persistent issues with waste management and maintaining public cleanliness in the city.

Other areas in Ireland offer a stark contrast to Dublin’s litter challenges. Blanchardstown, for instance, exemplifies excellent cleanliness, contributing to Ireland’s overall improved performance in recent years. Naas has once again earned the top position in the IBAL survey, with Monaghan and Blanchardstown not far behind, highlighting how local initiatives can effectively reduce litter.

Recently put into action, the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) is proving crucial in Ireland’s efforts to tackle litter. This new program has already resulted in almost a 30% decrease in litter from cans, highlighting its role in promoting better waste disposal habits. Although plastic bottle litter remains an issue, Conor Horgan pointed out the early successes of the DRS and its promise for further progress as more people become aware and comply with the initiative.

Public figures and commentators are weighing in on Dublin’s litter situation. Shane Coleman, well-known from Newstalk Breakfast, pointed out the ongoing litter issues in Dublin’s North Inner City, where he lives. Coleman shared his displeasure with the persistent sight of plastic bags and scattered waste, urging stronger municipal waste management practices to address these problems efficiently.

Ciara Kelly, who regularly engages in public discussions, proposed the idea of larger municipal bins, similar to those found in other European cities like Spain. She noted that while there might be initial issues such as overflow and misuse, it’s crucial to adopt creative solutions to tackle Dublin’s litter challenges effectively.

Coleman and Kelly highlighted the necessity of strict enforcement to uphold cleanliness standards. They urged Dublin City Council to intensify their enforcement of litter laws and stressed the significance of civic duty for both residents and businesses.

Despite the issues Dublin faces, the IBAL report offered a promising outlook on national cleanliness trends. According to the survey, more towns and cities are aligning with or exceeding European cleanliness standards. Additionally, the number of heavily littered areas has significantly declined, showing a strong community effort to enhance environmental care and keep public spaces appealing.

Looking forward, Conor Horgan shared his positive outlook on Ireland’s dedication to enhancing cleanliness standards. He emphasized the importance of sustained efforts to tackle litter issues holistically. Successful initiatives like the Deposit Return Scheme should continue, and future measures, such as a coffee cup levy, could be considered to address specific kinds of litter.

As Ireland prepares for a busy tourist season, attention is focused on maintaining clean and appealing urban spaces. Dublin, while facing its hurdles, can take inspiration from the nationwide improvements in cleanliness. The collective effort towards keeping cities tidy shows promise for a cleaner and more sustainable future.

Despite the continued litter problems in Dublin City Centre, the situation is evolving amidst national advances and active initiatives. The engagement and cooperation between various parties, along with creative solutions and stringent law enforcement, are key to resolving these issues. Such efforts are essential to maintaining Ireland’s reputation for cleanliness and welcoming atmosphere.

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