The final 2014 litter survey for 2014 produced by the business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL ) has seen Ballina retain its status as a clean town, but has seen it drop to 33rd position in the ranking of 40 towns and cities surveyed.
The An Taisce report stated: “Ballina’s ranking owes much to a stronger showing earlier in the year, as there were just four top ranking sites out of 10 surveyed this time – Moy Valley Business Park was exceptionally well presented and maintained. Some of the moderately littered sites could easily get the top litter grade with a little extra care and attention – this would result in a higher overall ranking such as we were used to for Ballina in past years. By far the most heavily littered site surveyed in Ballina was the Recycle Facility at Dunnes Stores car park.”
Of the 10 areas surveyed in the town, four of them (Killala Road, Dunnes Stores Complex, Moy Valley Business Park and Woodville ) received A grades, with five more (Pearse Street, Tone Street, Diamond’s Car Park, the sports/lesiure centre/swimming pool and the Ballina – Galway Link Road: N84 – N5 – N58 – N26 ) receiving B grades, and the one solitary D grading going to the recycling facility in the Dunnes Stores car park.
Of the areas that received A grading, the report said about the Killala Road: “A good approach into the town with nice planting of trees and shrubbery along one side. All properties and public spaces were in very good order”. While for Woodvile the report found it was: “A nicely presented and maintained residential area with open green space and some ornamental trees – all in good order. There was a virtual absence of litter.”
The two commercial areas that received A grading also got glowing reviews with the report commenting on the Dunnes Stores complex that: “The overall impression was a good one with all areas generally well maintained. The interior flooring was ‘patched’ in spots but clear of litter. Chewing gum was obvious on the outside paving.” The Moy Valley Business Park came in for special recognition with the report stating: “This was an excellent site – a complete absence of litter throughout. All premises, both occupied and empty, were in very good order. A separate undeveloped area had some equipment stored but it wasn’t littered – clearly a close eye is kept on it as it could have the potential to be a magnet for litter.”
Meanwhile the recycling facility in the Dunnes Stores car park which got a D grade received serious criticism with the report stating: “This was by far the worst site surveyed in Ballina and one of the worst recycle facilities surveyed in IBAL Survey 2, 2014. Every available space between the bins and underneath the bins was stuffed with cartons, cardboard boxes or plastic bags. As well as usual bottle tops / lids found at recycle facilities there was an old battery and a wide variety of food related litter – all in all a very poor site. The recycle bins themselves were clean and fresh.”