In 2021, the 19th year of the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) Anti Litter League, Waterford emerged as Ireland’s only Clean City and was classed as Clean to European Norms.
The report cited that Waterford City topped the list of the cities surveyed by a ‘long shot’ and went on to add ‘what is so striking about the top performing sites is not just the lack of litter but the overall presentation and maintenance of same.’
Areas such as Plunkett Train Station, People’s Park, Medieval Triangle / Cultural Quarter, Bus Eireann Station (The Quays) and the grounds of Waterford Courthouse, were regarded as excellent sites, were well presented and maintained and a complete absence of litter was noted throughout.
The Car Park opposite People’s Park had been a heavily littered site over several previous IBAL surveys, however, it was observed that a substantial clean-up had taken place, transforming the site completely.
Other sites which performed very well included the ‘beautifully paved / pedestrianised’ Michael Street, the Tramore approach road, and Kilbarry Nature Park which provided ‘dedicated novel bins for plastic bottles, a poop and scoop facility’ with a virtual absence of litter along the 2km pathway, however litter and dog fouling was noted in the viewing area which brought the Park’s litter rating from an A to a B+.
Even poorer performing sites from recent surveys have been addressed, with just one heavily littered site out of a total of 24 surveyed. There was a notable improvement for Ballybeg over the previous survey. A large open area beside Brill @The Campus had formerly been heavily littered, however a huge clean up and clear out had taken place and this time around it was very much worthy of the top litter grade, while the residential area of Glencarra, Ballybeg Park playground and Musgrave Market Place were all very much deserving of the top litter grade.
Fergus Galvin, Director of Services with Waterford City and County Council said that Waterford’s achievement as Ireland’s Only Clean City was a great accolade for the city and one that has been achieved by the hard work of the community.
“There has been great investment from local schools, voluntary committees and business communities and that commitment has resulted in Waterford topping the cleanest city table.”
“Environmental awareness initiatives such as the Anti-litter challenge for secondary schools, Tackling Single Use Plastics, Picker Pals, and the Gum Litter Task force have paid dividends, by not only helping keep public realm spaces spotless, but also instilling younger generations with a sense of pride in our place.”
Further initiatives that Waterford City and County Council promoted and supported in 2021 included the Green Dog Walker Programme, Leave No Trace, Green Picnic Campaign and the Anti-Graffiti and Anti-Litter Awareness Grant Scheme.