Ref Wexford People
By Maria PEPPER
Wednesday January 07 2009
WEXFORD town has improved in the end-of-year IBAL (Irish Business Against Litter) survey but is still way down in the national rankings after ending 2008 with a 'moderately littered' label.
The town lost its litter free status and fell from glory in the second half of last year, ending up bottom of the list after being in the top four and five during 2006 and 2007.
It is now in 42nd place, an improvement on the previous survey which placed it 51st out of 55 towns in the country.
The latest survey carried out by An Taisce finds that 36 out of 55 Irish towns are litter free compared to only two when the survey began in 2002. But Wexford fails to make the grade.
'A big improvement but a bad second survey keeps it down the table' commented the judges who criticised Wexford Enterprise centre and the Wexford Harbour wall.
'The Enterprise Centre was more littered than previous IBAL anti-litter surveys', they remarked. 'The level of litter was such that it was almost a serious litter problem - if not tackled, it could deteriorate very quickly'.
A variety of food related litter and plastic bottles were found trapped in the boulders at the harbour wall, with little change from the previous inspection.
A number of areas came in for praise, including the Rosslare approach road. 'An excellent, fresh and clean approach to Wexford -road surface/signage/markings were in very good condition'.
The Dublin approach road was also described as 'excellent' along with the New Ross approach where the paving and grass were in a 'meticulous' condition and the road 'spotless'.
The car park at the Tourist Office was 'moderately littered' during the latest inspection. 'On the whole, this was quite good site but a light scattering of litter prevented it getting the top grade', said the judges.
The quayfront was 'a very well maintained and respected amenity with life-belts, benches, litter bins and poop and scoop facilities all in very good condition'.
Bayview Drive was singled out for its litter-free standard. 'The paving, grass and individual gardens were all in very good condition. This was a very clean site', according to the An Taisce inspectors. Donore Castle at Ferrycarrig was also complimented.
The judges highlighted discarded chewing gum as the greatest blemish on the urban landscape in Ireland. 'It is expensive to remove and consequently, for the most part, remains premanently stuck to our pavements', they said.
Wexford lags behind many of its near neighbours in this latest IBAL league table, with Wicklow (15th), Gorey (18th), Arklow (19th) and Waterford City (34th) all earning 'clean' status, and Enniscorthy (37th) and Kilkenny (39th) both finishing marginally above Wexford town in the litter list.
The cleanest town in the country is Howth according to the nationwide study issued on Monday. 'Seriously littered' Cobh in County Cork is the country's dirtiest town.
- Maria PEPPER