LIMERICK has fallen further down a major anti-litter league - and remains the most littered city outside Dublin.
The latest survey carried out by the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) federation in conjunction with An Taisce has seen Limerick ranked as 38th out of 42 towns and cities surveyed.
The inspectors - who visit the city unannounced - have decided that Limerick is ‘moderately littered’, and languishes four places from the bottom of the league.
The news has prompted city south Labour councillor Joe Leddin to call for a review in how litter management money is spent in the city.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the city’s environmental committee John Gilligan is to seek an immediate meeting with City Hall management.
But the poor position in the league comes in spite of many city streets receiving the top grade A status.
There was a “virtual absence” of litter along Patrick Srtreet, while the Riverside walk also won praise for its clean green railings, seating area and bins.
Henry Street also secured a grade A status, with inspectors saying: “This was a good site, but the nature of the grills at the base of the trees is such that cigarette butts have become trapped.”
The city’s main thoroughfare also took top marks, although concern was expressed at the level of chewing gum.
In response to this, Cllr Gilligan suggested a tax be placed on all packets of chewing gum, with the proceeds given to City Council to purchase materials to clean gum from the streets.
There was room for improvement in some city streets: Glentworth Street saw “food related litter on the kerbs and pavements”, while there was “a light scattering of food related litter” in Cruises Street.
Arthur’s Quay Park also suffered from food litter. One area the judges were scathing in their criticism of was the basements of some private properties in O’Connell Street, “which were in very poor shape. All manner of litter was present in very high quantities.”
Another site on the Dock Road, adjacent to the Windmill House apartments was also given a grade D.
“This was a dreadful site, which has clearly suffered from long term neglect - it has been used as a waste ground,” inspectors wrote.
Limerick’s position in the IBAL anti-litter league has varied over the years.
At one point, the city topped the countdown, while three years ago, it was rock bottom.
It’s fortunes have improved since then, but the latest chart shows a fall of three places from when the inspectors were last here in August.
In response to the ranking, environmental director of service Caroline Curley said: “Some of these low ranking sites are in private ownership and are already the subject of enforcement activity by either Planning Departments, Property Management or Environment Departments.”
She added City Hall is to focus on Tidy Towns.
Top of the IBAL anti-litter league was Kilkenny City, with Dublin’s North Inner City the only litter blackspot in the countdown.