LIMERICK has received a vote of confidence from Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) this week, after the group ranked the city ‘clean to European norms’.
The anti-litter league survey carried out by the IBAL federation in conjunction with An Taisce has seen Limerick ranked in a respectable 25th place out of 42 towns and cities surveyed.
The city is now ‘clean to European norms’ according to the report.
The inspectors - who visit cities unannounced - praised Limerick for a “timely boost” as it starts its time as City of Culture.
In recent years Limerick has languished close to the bottom of the league - and it actually finished bottom as recently as January 2010.
But now, a majority of the 15 out of the 26 streets surveyed achieved the top grade A status, and no street was marked lower than a grade C in the comprehensive report.
The inspectors reserved praise for the “very clean environment” in William Street, Sarsfield Bridge which was “completely clear of all litter”.
Meanwhile, Priory Park also achieved grade A status, as did Robert Byrne Park.
There was a “virtual absence of litter” in the city’s main thoroughfare O’Connell Street, with the City Council afforded praise for its signage encouraging people not to litter.
However, Arthur’s Quay Park missed out on a grade A status, due to food-related litter.
“The pigeons just beside the bicycle parking outside the park were having a field day,” the inspectors noted.
Concerns were also raised over Nicholas Street, and its “casually dropped loose litter and heavy levels of dog fouling.”
Lower Mallow Street, and a waste ground site opposite King John’s Castle also came in for criticism, with the judges urging this to be changed, given the recent reopening of the attraction.
As well as Limerick’s shopping streets, the inspectors reserved special praise for the approach roads into the urban area.
“These determine the first impression which visitors get of a city, but as they are often the responsibility of the county council and not the city council, they tend to be more heavily littered than the city streets. This was the case in Limerick previously, but well done to the councils concerned on remedying this. Many approach roads are now litter free, with the Tralee approach praised as being ‘particularly well presented and maintained,” the inspectors’ report stated.
But the report was not all positive reading: Meatmarket Lane was one of four seriously littered sites – there was a waste ground along this lane and it was primarily responsible for the poor grade, the inspectors said.
“The waste ground opposite King John’s Castle was also in a poor state. The basements of some of the houses along Lower Mallow Street need attention as dumping has occurred.”Nonetheless this was a mighty achievement for the city,” the report concluded.