People living in the area branded Ireland’s only litter blackspot have united to clean up their act.
Farranree Community Association on the northside of Cork City has announced plans to stage a series of monthly clean-ups, and to hold regular meetings to monitor progress.
They also plan to approach major domestic waste collection companies in a bid to strike deals on behalf of households in the area who may be in arrears with their refuse accounts.
The city’s deputy mayor, Cllr Kenneth O’Flynn, has also agreed to sponsor a tidy estates competition in a bid to encourage people to get involved in the clean-up.
The initiatives emerged after a community meeting prompted by the latest Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) survey which branded the northside suburb as Ireland’s only blackspot.
The report said there had been little improvement on Farranree’s standing since its report last year saw the suburb languishing at the bottom of its league table.
The report said heavily littered sites in the area were subjected to dumping and neglect.
But locals rubbished the findings, accusing the report’s authors of selecting a few problem areas which painted an unfair overall picture of the suburb.
“We do not accept the report’s findings. And we only have three litter bins in our area,” community association chairman Sean Coleman, said.
But despite their issues with the report, he said the community has decided to tackle it head on.
“In general, the people here are good people and take pride in their community,” he said. “There are a few isolated spots that need to be addressed and we’re working to do that.
“We’ve organised cleanups within the community and we are getting support from local politicians and the city council.”
Vera O’Sullivan, treasurer of the community association, said most of the suburb is clean.
“It’s not a dirty place. There are a few isolated spots that are bad,” she said.
Mr O’Flynn said he hopes people will get involved in the tidy estates competition.
“The IBAL report, for all its flaws, has sparked people into action,” he said.
“I want to support this so I have offered to put up prizes for the best streets in a new awards system that’s due to start in June.”
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