Here in Kilkenny, we are a very proud people. We love to shout about our city, our rich cultural and historical heritage and of course our excellent sporting achievements, especially in Hurling. Another thing we are proud of is our beautiful city itself and helping to keep it looking it’s best.
This year, Kilkenny has been again named the cleanest part of Ireland by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL), proving our dedication to the county and ensuring we not only look good but protecting our environment and surroundings for the future generations.
Read on for some more information about the much-coveted award.
Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) says Kilkenny is the cleanest in Ireland
IBAL was set up in 1996 and comprises of an alliance of companies from across the country who are passionate about keeping our cities and the island of Ireland litter-free. They believe that the continued economic prosperity, especially in tourism, food and foreign investment, is a condition of a clean litter-free environment and any decline in the countries reputation as a clean and litter-free country could damage that.
IBAL also believes all citizens have the right to a clean living environment and strive to uphold this belief by setting targets and constantly improving guidelines and surveys. Some notable members are GAA Ireland, IHF Hotel Group and many individual hotels and companies across Ireland. 2019 was the 17th year of the IBAL anti-litter awards the fourth win for Kilkenny.
The Impact of Litter
Apart from being unsightly and taking the beauty from a place, litter has the potential to cause harm to human and animal health, safety and welfare and cause untold damage to the environment. The impact of litter includes trapping or poisoning animals, killing aquatic life directly through choking and indirectly through its impact on water quality, affecting the wider country.
For the first time since the beginning of the cleanest town surveys, all of the city centres examined were clean and there was significantly less litter on the streets when compared to a decade ago. However, the gap in cleanliness between neglected areas and high-profile city centres is not closing.
The most common forms of litter found included sweet wrappers, chewing gum and general debris but cigarette butts remain the most common forms of litter on the streets. “Perhaps no one item illustrates the link between litter and the broader environment better than the cigarette butt,” explains Conor Horgan, an IBAL spokesperson. “Cigarette filters are essentially single-use plastic which readily winds its way into our sewers and rivers, adding to the problem of plastic pollution, which threatens to see more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050. Yet every day we see people nonchalantly flicking butts onto our pavements.”
Responsible Litter Disposal? Kilkenny is King
For the fourth time, an IBAL record, Kilkenny has once again been named the cleanest part of Ireland of 40 large towns and cities surveyed.
An Taisce, a charity working to preserve and protect Ireland’s natural and built heritage conducts the surveys on behalf of IBAL. They have praised Kilkenny for “a superb achievement for such a popular bustling centre. High Street, Market Cross Shopping Centre, the Train Station and the River Nore Walk were all exceptionally well presented and maintained”. Kilkenny showed evidence of combatting dumping, encourage responsible litter disposal and general cleanliness of the streets, especially in areas of high traffic.
As a reward for the win, IBAL has offered to facilitate the setting up of a pilot programme to recycle butts in Kilkenny, one which it is hoped will spread across the country and combat the extreme litter issue in some parts. In addition, a number of trees will be planted courtesy of The Tree Centre in Fermoy, adding to the already beautiful cityscape.
If you’d like to visit Irelands undisputed ‘cleanest town in Ireland’, make sure your accommodation in our tidy town is just as impressive.
Author Bio: Katie McGarr is a savvy travel and lifestyle writer for Pembroke Hotel Kilkenny, a four-star boutique hotel in Kilkenny, offering exceptional accommodation and dining experiences in Ireland’s historic marble city. When she’s not taking vibrant street photos, you can find her writing articles about travel, food, and lifestyle.