By Mary Dennehy
WHILE Tallaght received a glowing commendation in a national litter survey last week, Sean Walsh Park didn’t – with the community’s ongoing frustration over the condition of the bring bank area and the overflowing bins reflected by survey inspectors.
The IBAL [Irish Business against Litter] survey, which was released on Tuesday, noted a “disappointing” rise in Dublin city litter levels.
However, Tallaght bucked this trend and was branded clean to European norms, ranking 19th out of 40 towns and cities surveyed nationwide, a jump of 13 places since the last survey in September 2016.
According to IBAL judges, there was an “excellent showing” by Tallaght, which they said was “heavily littered in the past”.
The survey reported: “Seven of the sites surveyed got the top litter grade.
“The particularly good top ranking sites included the residential area of Ard Mhaca, Tallaght Library and its environs, Tallaght Stadium and Tallaght Square car park at the entrance to Tesco – these sites weren’t just clear of litter but very freshly presented and maintained.”
However, the report concluded that by far the worst site was the recycle facility at Sean Walsh Park which, according to IBAL, “wasn’t just littered but dumping had taken place and clearly the bins need to be emptied more frequently as the majority of them were overflowing”.
Aylesbury resident Peter Daly, who runs the Tallaght Park Watch Facebook page and is a member of the community-led Litter Mugs clean-up team, believes that Sean Walsh Park deserves more attention.
He told The Echo: “I would love to see South Dublin County Council getting more involved with Sean Walsh Park.
“It’s a fantastic resource and the show-piece of Tallaght and it should be maintained, nurtured and managed.
“The park is used by people of all ages and with its wildlife and flora is a wonderful resource for the area.
“There has been a definite improvement in the park in recent years however, there’s still lots to do and it’s not about doing once off clean-ups, it needs to be maintained daily by the council.”
He added: “We can’t blame the council for other people’s dumping but if people are regularly dumping at the bring bank, where are the prosecutions?
“A lot of the dumping is done by regular dumpers in regular spots.
“The bins within the park as well need to be focused on, there’s a huge footfall in the park and the bins, many of which are broken, are constantly overflowing.
“There isn’t a regular system of maintenance…if there was the Litter Mugs wouldn’t be collecting the amount of waste we do from the park on a regular basis.
“I don’t think that the resources are there to do it, and if that’s the case the council should review its system and also motivate and support the community, work with us, in maintaining this beautiful asset.”
When contacted by The Echo, Mary Maguire of the council’s environment department said that full time resources have recently been assigned to Sean Walsh Park.
She said: “Full time resources have been assigned to the maintenance of Sean Walsh Park and as such the park and litter bins will be cleaned and emptied on a daily basis.
“The bottle bank area is generally cleaned by the contractor as part of the existing servicing and maintenance and recycling contract, and the location is also maintained by our Public Realm Crew.
“The bottle banks were last emptied on [Tuesday] January 3 and before that on Friday, 30 December.”
Ms Maguire added that a review of the litter bin provisions is currently being undertaken, with a report due in February, while CCTV will be used in the area for surveillance.
For further information on Tallaght Park Watch and the Litter Mugs, which is always open to new members, visit the Tallaght Park Watch Facebook page.
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