Dublin City Council says IBAL Survey Methodology is flawed

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Dublin City Council is astonished at the level of misrepresentation within the IBAL report issued today and at the misleading headlines this has given rise to in the media. It appears to be a trend in the IBAL reporting that Dublin is given a periodic bad report so as to achieve such headlines. We have consistently outlined our reservations to IBAL about their methodology. For example each IBAL report is a snapshot and to claim a place is the cleanest or most littered on this basis is absurd. Also there is no weighting given to footfall levels and site selection and indeed area selection is arbitrary.

The cleaning regime in the city despite financial constraints has been maintained at a consistent level over the years and indeed improved in many areas. The report published today does not reflect the overall level of cleanliness in Dublin City.

The results as published are not consistent with the findings of the National Litter Monitoring Body, carried out under the aegis of the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.  These findings, for 2010, show that 20.5% of the City is litter free while 60.3% is slightly littered. 32.4% is moderately littered, and only 1.5% significantly littered.  No area of the city was deemed to be grossly littered.

In relation to the IBAL survey of the North Inner City, Dublin City Council recognises there are problems in this area which arise from unacceptable practices of dumping and littering.  Through a combination of enforcement and working with local community we are endeavouring to improve the overall cleanliness of that particular area.

The IBAL report also fails to differentiate between different local authority boundaries within the Greater Dublin region. It should be noted that over 25% of the sites surveyed as part of the report are outside the administrative area of Dublin City Council yet are reported on as if they are part of the City Council’s administrative area.

IBAL and An Taisce Reports consistently use the terminology “Clean to European Norms” when they have admitted to the City Council that there is no such standard. We understand that they are using a British standard.

Dublin City Council continues to devote resources to ensuring that the City is as clean and litter free as is possible. The assistance of the public in making use of litter bins etc has contributed to the increasingly clean image which the City has built up.