LIMERICK has maintained its status as being “clean to European norms” in the latest litter league compiled by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) and An Taisce.
Almost seven in every 10 sites surveyed around the city received the highest grade from inspectors in marked improvement for a city once classified as littered.
And Mayor of Limerick City and County Kevin Sheahan has urged everyone to do their bit to keep up the momentum.
“This is a very good result for Limerick with almost 70% of sites surveyed receiving the top grade,” he said.
“IBAL particularly singled out the Hunt Museum, the Shannon Bridge roundabout, Catherine Street, Cornmarket Row and the city centre for special mention and I would like to commend Limerick City and County Council and the Limerick Tidy Towns Committee for all their hard work during 2014 in improving our city centre and not forgetting the hundreds of other volunteers who took part in Going for Gold initiatives to improve their local environs.
“While the latest IBAL litter survey results are welcomed, Limerick needs to continue to work on maintaining this momentum. There is also an onus on everyone in the city and county to love Limerick and don’t litter,” declared Cllr Sheahan.
While the city ranks 30th of 40 urban centres assessed, this is a marked improvement since IBAL started its campaign to clean up our streets through publishing its first litter league in 2002. Whereas it was once considered “moderately littered”, Limerick is now “clean to European norms” for the second year running, placing it on a par with Cork and Galway but ahead of Dublin, which was ranked as “moderately littered”.
A spokesperson for IBAL said it was “a very good result for Limerick.
“However, the surveyor noted that many city centre sites were riddled with chewing gum. There was attractive city centre street signage throughout and some of the street bins had dog fouling notices attached. One blot on the landscape in Limerick is the wasteground opposite King John’s Castle - it has been like this since first included in IBAL surveys.”
Former Mayor of Limerick Cllr John Gilligan said this week that there was a plan in place to tackle the area concerned.
“The Civic Trust are going to turn it into a sports park, which will commemorate sports people down through the centuries,” he said.
“I have seen the plans and I am very impressed with it. It was something that should have started at the end of last year. It has been passed, there is money there for it, and I would expect it to start in weeks.
And Cllr Gilligan has also called on the government to get tough on chewing gum makers by getting the industry to fund cleaning up the unsightly gobs through a new tax.