In the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) most recent summer survey, Waterford emerged as Ireland’s Cleanest City and was classed as Clean to European Norms.
The report cited that this was ‘the customary splendid result for Waterford - some of the city centre sites deserve special mention as they are not only very good with regard to litter, but exceptionally well presented and maintained.’
These sites included Arundel Square, Broad Street / Barron Strand Street, The Mall, John Street and the Viking Triangle / Museum Quarter – what sets these and other top-ranking sites apart is the attention to detail in the overall presentation of same with regard to paving, bollards, bicycle parking, street bins, seating, tree planting etc. The People’s Park was, as always, an excellent site – ditto with Plunkett Train Station and Bus Eireann station along the Quays.
Other areas that performed well and were awarded a Grade A were the New Rath Approach Road, Ardnashee / Clan Glas, Waterford Greenway Car Park at Bilberry, Arundel Square, the river walk from The Tower Hotel to Rice Bridge, Ferrybank Approach Road, Cork Road approach, IDA Industrial Estate and Newtown Approach Road.
Ballybeg retained its place ranked 24th in the survey once again and was classed as Clean to European norms. The IBAL results show that Ballybeg delivers a stand-out performance for an urban area.
Top-ranking sites included the Car Park at Tesco Extra, St. Saviour’s GAA, @ The Campus and Ballybeg Park / Playground. ‘The latter has had a revamp since it was last surveyed and the facilities within look very fresh.
‘By far the most heavily littered site surveyed was the Bring Facility at Tesco Extra, it wasn’t just casually littered but subject to dumping. Care needs to be taken at the moderately littered sites to ensure they don’t deteriorate further e.g., Ardmore Terrace, Ballybeg Stores & Environs and Clonard Park / Ardmore Park.’
Fergus Galvin, Director of Services with Waterford City and County Council said that Waterford’s achievement as Ireland’s Cleanest City was a great accolade for the city, however there are areas of improvement needed to catapult the city into the Top Ten.
“While we were pleased that the survey highlighted the absence of litter and the many well-maintained public areas, some of the privately owned sites didn’t achieve higher than a C+ grade. Over many years there has been a collaborative approach taken by the Council, voluntary committees, schools and local business groups in keeping Waterford a clean, attractive place to live, work and invest in.
“If every business got behind the movement and ensured their premises and grounds were maintained to a high standard, I don’t see why Waterford couldn’t be classed as Cleaner than European norms.
“Environmental awareness initiatives, co-operation and collaboration have yielded massive rewards for Waterford and another strong performance by the city in this year’s IBAL rankings is testament to that.”
Further initiatives that Waterford City and County Council promoted and supported in 2022 included the Cigarette Butt Ballot Bin, Bring Banks Sensor bins, which monitors the levels of bottles within bring banks at 70 locations around the city and county, and the Local Litter Challenge for Secondary Schools.