While we are always proud of our black and gold county in sports, heritage and other accolades, there is one thing that Kilkenny natives treat with the ultimate respect. We love our city and want to keep it looking as beautiful as possible. That’s why each year we take pride in keeping our city and the surrounding countryside clean and litter-free. In 2019, Kilkenny was once again named the cleanest town in Ireland according to a new litter survey by IBAL, proving our dedication to the county and ensuring we not only look good but protecting our environment and surroundings for future generations.
Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL)
IBAL is an alliance of companies from a range of industries across the country who are passionate about keeping our cities and the entire island of Ireland clean and litter-free. They believe that the continued economic prosperity of Ireland, especially in tourism, food and foreign investment depends on a clean litter-free environment for both our residents and locals. They have been campaigning and encouraging businesses to be as eco-friendly as possible since their establishment in 1996. They set annual targets and constantly improve their guidelines and surveys around clean living making sure these high standards are upheld throughout the country. Some large popular companies who are members of IBAL 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
While the survey applies to a lot more than just litter these days, it is still one of the highest held standards set by IBAL. Apart from being unsightly and taking from the beauty from a place, litter has the potential to cause harm to human and animal health, safety & welfare and cause untold damage to the wider environment. Litter has a huge impact on plant and animal life too. It can trap or poison animals, kill aquatic life directly through choking and indirectly through its impact on water quality – which also affects the wider country. In the 2019 survey, it was discovered that all of the city and town centres examined reported significantly less litter than previous years however, the gap between neglected areas and high-profile city centres is not closing.
The most common forms of litter in the city centre and built-up areas included sweet and food wrappers and chewing gum. However, one item of litter stood out as the most widely discarded litter; cigarette butts. “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.”
Kilkenny Wins Cleanest Town
Out of 40 cities and towns surveyed, we are so proud that once again, Kilkenny is king. For the fourth time, Kilkenny has been named the cleanest part of Ireland, proving our dedication to our beautiful county. 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.” they also praised us saying, “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, encouraging responsible litter disposal and general cleanliness of the streets, especially in areas of high traffic.
As a reward for our win, IBAL has decided to choose Kilkenny as the first location of a pilot scheme to recycle cigarettes, which – if successful- will spread across the country and combat the extreme litter issue in some parts. In addition, several 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. Hoban Hotel, on the edge of the city, offer our very best rates and availability exclusively to guests who book online using our official website or contact our friendly team. Don’t forget to do your part to keep Kilkenny the tidiest town in Ireland.