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Killarney slips in post-lockdown litter rankings

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The first post-lockdown survey by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) shows Killarney and Tralee both deemed "clean" but have fallen in the ranking of 40 areas nationwide, to 22nd and 23rd spots respectively.

Last year Killarney was in second position. While the majority of towns have cleaned up over the past 12 months, litter in the main cities has worsened to levels not seen in 10 years. Portlaoise emerged as cleanest town. The study, for the 19th year of the IBAL Anti-Litter League, found no fall-off in PPE litter across the country.

"It was the reduction in the number of top-ranking sites which brought down Killarney’s overall ranking," the An Taisce report for Killarney stated. "There were no heavily littered sites. High Street, Killarney Train Station and Port Road were all in very good order, not just in regard to litter but overall maintenance. It would seem that the ‘outdoor dining’ was contributing to the litter presence along Scott’s Street, based on the menus, food waste and salt and pepper sachets on the ground. Killarney House and Gardens is a wonderful resource and most of it was very clean, but it was impossible to ignore the litter close to the entrance/signage.

An Taisce report stated that Tralee put in "a solid performance with no seriously littered sites".

"A Miscellaneous Site on Mitchel Street which was heavily littered last year has since been boarded up and fared somewhat better but was still somewhat littered. Tralee Town Park is a lovely environment, with so many different aspects and features within, all in very good order. Work continues along The Mall, but this didn’t impact in any negative way on the litter situation."

The number of areas deemed clean by An Taisce, who carry out the survey on behalf of IBAL, rose from 17 to 23. In all, 68% of towns showed an improvement on last year. Portlaoise, which was at the very foot of the table back in 2010, topped the rankings, ahead of Leixlip and past winner Ennis.

"With local authority cleaning schedules normalising again and volunteer groups re-engaged in clean-ups across the country, our towns are almost as clean as two years ago. This is still some way short of where they were in 2014, however,” IBAL’s Conor Horgan said.

By contrast, the majority of urban areas fared worse than in 2020, among them Dublin, Cork and Limerick City Centres, which were all deemed ‘littered’.

Continued Rise in Covid-related litter

The study showed a near-30% increase in the prevalence of PPE masks on streets and an increase in alcohol-related litter such as cans and bottles.

“The need for PPE has not abated – unfortunately we’re still using disposable masks, we’re still dropping them at an alarming rate and they are still not being picked up," he said. “We are consuming more outdoors and this is translating into more food and drink related litter.”

Despite this, the survey showed a 20% drop in coffee cup litter. There was also a steep fall-off in cigarette butts.

IBAL was once again critical of the failure of local authorities to address sites which they have previously highlighted as heavily littered, especially in urban areas. Of the 103 such sites exposed last year, fewer than half have been cleaned up in 2021.

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No spare change – no problem, as charity embraces new technology

By Sean Moriarty With less and less people carrying lose change around, one local group have now embraced a new technology to make donating much easier. For their annual Christmas fundraiser, the Killarney Conference of the St Vincent De Paul Society will have a special collection bucket that will allow supporters to use their bank […]

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By Sean Moriarty

With less and less people carrying lose change around, one local group have now embraced a new technology to make donating much easier.

For their annual Christmas fundraiser, the Killarney Conference of the St Vincent De Paul Society will have a special collection bucket that will allow supporters to use their bank card to make a donation.

The Society’s annual churchgate collection will be held on the weekend of December 11/12 at places of worship in the town and surrounding areas. This year’s collection has be renamed as ‘Giving Sunday’ and makes a return after the pandemic forced the cancellation of last year’s fundraiser.

“We are moving towards a cashless society,” explained Killarney Conference President Breda O’Dwyer. “You can tap and swipe your card to make a donation.”

Breda added that they are hoping to have the buckets ready by next week in time for the collection.

She said the local conference of the St Vincent De Paul Society has seen a marked increase in the number of families it is helping mainly caused by the increase in the cost of fuel and home heating products.

The annual St Vincent De Paul Society’s Christmas Jumper Day, in association with Radio Kerry is scheduled for December 10.

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SURVEY: Locals are reducing their social contacts

It is just over a week since new restrictions were announced by the Government in an another effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. In our latest online poll we asked our readers if they had reduced their social contacts over the course of the last week. An overwhelming 62.90% said they had reduced their […]

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It is just over a week since new restrictions were announced by the Government in an another effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In our latest online poll we asked our readers if they had reduced their social contacts over the course of the last week.

An overwhelming 62.90% said they had reduced their level of contacts with people.

Interestingly, 37.10% of people had made no change to their lifestyle, but they could have been extra cautious already.

A tiny minority – just 1.61% – said they increased their social contacts over the last week.

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