Waterford city has dropped from 34th to 52nd place and been graded as ‘littered’ in the latest survey by Irish Business Against Litter. The city had been deemed ‘litter free’ for the previous 5 years.

Tramore, at 17th place, has emerged at the top of the litter league in Waterford City and County after joining the 59 other towns in the league last year. Dungarvan, however, has plunged from the top five in the last survey to 35. The survey of 60 towns and cities, conducted by An Taisce on behalf of IBAL, revealed Wexford to be Ireland’s cleanest town,

Inspectors found the main culprits were supermarket carparks, with Tesco, Dunnes and Costcutter the main magnets for litter in different areas. The Irish Business Against Litter group is warning that many areas are likely to suffer this summer with the large-scale reduction of weekend cleaning due to budget cuts. A further concern is that cities such as Waterford are not doing as well as the towns as the peak tourist season begins.

Ten out of the twenty sites surveyed in Waterford city received the top litter grade, with a serious litter problem noted at five sites and one litter blackspot identified. Two out of the city’s four approach roads surveyed had a serious litter problem – the R675 Tramore Road and N25 Kilkenny Road, with a ‘general air of neglect’ at these two sites. The exteriors of the city’s Bus Station and Railway Station were described as ‘very poor….the worst in the country’.

There were no seriously littered sites in Dungarvan and IBAL noted that many of the sites which had moderate levels of litter could easily get the top litter grade with a little extra care and attention, such as Parnell Street and Friary Street. It was noted that care needs to be taken at the R675 Tramore Road to ensure that a litter problem doesn’t develop, while the R672 Clonmel Road would have ranked higher were it not for the presence of a Travellers’ site at that location.