Irish battle against litter continues

Efforts to tackle litter in Irish cities are paying off, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.

The Irish Business Against Litter alliance has been monitoring litter levels across the country and published its first set of results for 2005 this week.

Batt O'Keeffe, Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, welcomed the findings as positive but said there could be no resting on laurels.

"These are the first results since the League was expanded from 30 towns and cities to 57," he said.

"They give room for some optimism but none for complacency. "It is clear that litter in industrial estates will require improved performance from businesses in keeping their premises and environs litter free as well as more rigorous enforcement by local authorities."

He pointed out that 12 towns and cities have now achieved litter free status and claimed this was a very positive result. 14 urban areas are still classed as litter blackspots, however.

The minister said: "I congratulate those towns and cities who have worked hard to improve their ratings and particularly those who have achieved litter free status.

"I am sure that these results will spur those with litter problems to take more effective action."

Industrial estates fared poorly in the survey with almost a quarter of the sites surveyed classed as litter blackspots.

Badly managed recycling centers in car parks were also identified as a cause of litter pollution.

"First impressions are important," said Mr O'Keeffe. "Our industrial estates are often one of the first places visited by business men and women seeking to invest here.

"Dirt and litter send the wrong signal to those people and we really must do better to ensure that industrial estates present a better image in the future."

By Sam Bond




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