The litter free campuses of NUI Galway and Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology have been held up as a model for those responsible for keeping public places clean to follow, that is according to the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL ) which launched its 2012 Litter League this week.
An assessment by IBAL of third level colleges throughout the country gave a top A grade to both NUI Galway and GMIT for maintaining their respective campuses to a level which is deemed ‘clean to European norms’. Releasing the positive report card IBAL said that those in charge of keeping clean public amenities like hospitals, train stations and shopping centres should look to the the performance of third level campuses as a guide. Seventeen of the 21 third level colleges surveyed were deemed litter-free, with only DIT Kevin Street in Dublin branded as heavily littered.
Commenting on the results, IBAL chairman Dr Tom Cavanagh said: “This result is another big leap in the fight against litter, as previous surveys showed several campuses to be neglected and rundown. The achievement is all the greater given that the populations of these colleges are bigger than most towns, and they are young populations, which are more likely to litter. It augurs well for the future that our budding leaders are operating in a well-presented environment, which they will hopefully replicate as opinion formers and trendsetters in their later professional lives.”
Following on from the success of the colleges’ survey, IBAL will be assessing train and bus stations and schools as part of the 2012 league, and there will also be a particular emphasis placed on dog fouling and gum.
However, there was some bad news for Tuam as Government cutbacks has meant the town will be omitted from this year’s litter league, leaving Galway city as the only Galway representation among 42 towns and cities. Criticising the Government’s decision which will see 11 fewer areas around the country surveyed this year, Dr Cavanagh said: “Given how the league has transformed our towns and cities over the past decade without increased cleaning budgets, including those in Galway, this is a false economy. The cutbacks are a licence for some local authorities to sit back this year, now that no one will be monitoring them. It is inevitable that litter levels will rise as a result.”
For the first time IBAL will be awarding a Business Achievement award this year which will acknowledge the contribution of a chamber of commerce, traders’ association, or shop owner to ensuring a litter-free environment, be it in adopting a particular road, voluntarily cleaning a main street, or other initiatives.