Portlaoise reaches dizzy heights in litter league

Laois town's remarkable recovery continues

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

portlaoise tidy towns

Portlaoise Tidy Towns at work on Lyster Square.

Portlaoise's remarkable recovery in the clean town's league continues. 

The Laois county town has risen to 4th out of 40 towns and cities surveyed in the latest Irish Business Against (IBAL) Litter anti-litter league rankings.

The result is also Portlaoise's best-ever showings in the survey carried out for IBAL by An Taisce. It is now also among 14 towns deemed to be ‘Cleaner than European norms'.

“Portlaoise continues to improve year on year and had no heavily littered sites in this survey,” the survey found.

Kilkenny topped the rankings ahead of Athlone and Killarney with Portlaoise in fourth

Vincent Booth, secretary of Portlaoise Tidy Towns said the volunteers were on a high to have climbed so high in the rankings.

He said the local Tidy Towns group the achievement is notable not just because Portlaoise is up with the country’s tourist towns, but also because the town was ranked at the bottom of the IBAL league in 2010. It ranked as Ireland’s dirtiest town at the time. He praised volunteers and Laois County Council.

“This is down to all the hard work over the volunteers who go out every Saturday and Wednesday during the summer and every Saturday during the winter.

“We also have a good and close working relationship with Laois County Council. They have done a lot of work down the years tackling the litter problem and have good workers on the ground,” he said.

Mr Booth encouraged more people to get involved.

He said volunteers meet every Wednesday at 6.30 pm and on Saturdays at 9 am at the People First Credit Union on Lyster Square.

IBAL’s report on Portlaoise said a few top-ranking sites deserve special mention. It praised the ‘Bring Centre’ at the council offices as ‘exceptionally good’.

“The individual units were very fresh in appearance and the area immediately surrounding it was spotless, quite a rarity in such facilities throughout the country.

It said Main Street presented well, with all aspects of the area surveyed in very good order.

It said Portlaoise Train Station, exterior and interior, was also top ranking.

The only area assessed that did not receive an A grade was Peppers Lane where graffiti, cigarette butts the other litter was highlighted.

Established in 1996, Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) is an alliance of companies sharing a belief that continued economic prosperity – notably in the areas of tourism, food and direct foreign investment – is contingent on a clean, litter-free environment. IBAL believes all citizens have the right to a clean living environment.