Kildare is officially Ireland's cleanest town

The 'Irish Business Against Litter' organisation has warned that illegal dumping is a growing problem around the country

Kildare is officially Ireland's cleanest town

Image: Flickr

Kildare has been awarded the title of ‘cleanest town in Ireland’ as Irish businesses warn illegal dumping is becoming a real problem around the country.

Kildare came top of the 2016 Anti-Litter League; beating out the challenge of Roscommon and Ashbourne, with Waterford City in fourth.

The competition was run by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) and a special public sculpture will now be commissioned for the town to mark the achievement.

Surveys were conducted in towns around Ireland by An Taisce on behalf of IBAL with the report on Kildare commenting that, “It is rare to find a town in such spotless condition throughout.”

“The Link Road and both approach roads into Kildare Town got the top litter grade and this high standard was sustained for all sites surveyed,” said the report. 

IBAL spokesperson Conor Horgan said the 2016 surveys as a whole illustrate that illegal dumping is at the heart of Ireland’s litter problem - with 60% of the areas deemed “heavily littered” and showing evidence of dumping.

There were no litter blackspots discovered - although only 40% of city areas surveyed were clean.

“While litter levels have decreased over the past decade, dumping appears to be on the rise,” he said.

“It is 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 top five cleanest towns for last year - Kildare, Roscommon, Ashbourne, Waterford and Thurles - will now all receive an Emperor Lime tree courtesy of the Irish Tree Centre in Cork.