Anti-litter group warns of rising problem of people dumping rubbish illegally to avoid bin charges

Irish Business Against Litter has noted a 'disappointing deterioration' in Dublin's cleanliness rating

Anti-litter group warns of rising problem of people dumping rubbish illegally to avoid bin charges

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There is a warning today about the rising problem of people dumping their rubbish illegally to avoid bin charges.

Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) says it needs to be higher on the political agenda.

The group says rubbish that has been dumped on wasteland or derelict sites makes those areas 'magnets' for all sorts of litter.

Overall, the group's latest ranking names Galvone in Limerick as a 'seriously littered' area, along with Farranree in Cork City and Dublin's North Inner City.

IBAL also notes a 'disappointing deterioration' in Dublin's cleanliness rating. O’Connell St, Grafton St and Stephens Green are all said to have slipped to 'moderately littered' status.

70% of towns and cities surveyed by An Taisce on behalf of IBAL are said to be 'Clean to European Norms', although that represents a drop from 85% two years ago.

Conor Horgan of IBAL said: “The poor showing by our cities generally goes some way to explaining the overall increase in litter levels. Last year all our major cities other than Dublin were clean, this time round the majority are littered.

“The good news is that we are nowhere near as littered a nation as we were fifteen years ago, when only two towns were Clean to European Norms. However, we have seen some worrying slippage across both cities and towns. The restructuring of local government and the abolition of town councils may be partly to blame outside of our cities," he added.

He also highlighted the issue of dumping, explaining: “The problem is becoming less about cleaning up after kids have dropped sweet papers on the main street. It’s about people deliberately and covertly evading bin charges by illegally disposing of their rubbish on wasteland or derelict sites, which then become magnets for all sorts of litter.

"Dumping needs to be higher on the political agenda, as it’s an issue that really matters to people, and to our economy.”

The IBAL is set to name Ireland's cleanest town later today, with Ashbourne, Kildare, Roscommon, Thurles and Waterford City all on the shortlist.