03 January 2017

City and County Councils must show leadership in the fight against Litter and Dumping, said Joe Costello, Labour Party spokesman on Urban Regeneration in response to the annual Irish Business against Litter(IBAL) survey for 2016 which was published today.

The IBAL survey states that levels of litter have risen throughout the course of the year. This is after twenty years of highlighting the problem and after announcing in 2013 that the situation had improved to the extent that there were no litter blackspots anywhere in Ireland.

It is particularly disappointing that the three largest cities, Dublin, Cork and Limerick were in the first five of problem areas in the country.

IBAL identified dumping as a more serious problem than littering in 2016 and linked it to waste management charges.

Undoubtedly, most City and County Councils have been proactive in tackling the scourge of litter and dumping in recent years. Their anti -litter campaigns have been consistent and they are beginning to work closely with local communities. That approach must be maintained and extended.

However, sanctions for litter and dumping appear to be non-existent and the areas subject to most littering and dumping are also areas that are most derelict and neglected by the public and private sector.

 The North  Inner City of Dublin  is a case in point. Hopefully the major report being prepared by Kieran Mulvey to regenerate the Nth East Inner City in the wake of gang land feud will address the environmental issues as well as the economic ones.

New urban regeneration legislation provides for a register of vacant sites and a levy on these sites to encourage development and landscaping.

It is essential that while the campaign to rid the streets of litter and dumping is pursued that the surrounding environment is developed and rendered non derelict.

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