Northern Ireland

One in seven Northern Ireland streets and parks miss litter standard

Litter
Image caption One in seven of Northern Ireland's streets and parks failed to meet the accepted standard for litter in 2016

One in seven of Northern Ireland streets and parks failed to meet the accepted standard for litter last year, despite tens of millions of pounds being spent by councils on clean-ups.

Eleven hundred sites were surveyed with 15% having "widespread" litter.

Worst affected areas were industrial estates with more than a third failing to meet the standard.

Areas of low density housing did best with virtually all rated clean or very clean and some totally free of litter.

Between them the 11 councils spent more than £43m on cleansing, according to the survey for Keep Northern Ireland beautiful.

Spokesman Chris Allen said it was clear councils were "struggling to keep pace with people's irresponsible habits".

He said the average cost to every ratepayer in Northern Ireland was £58 a year.

Image caption Between them, the 11 councils spent more than £43m on cleansing

There was some good news on dog fouling with the reported incidence falling.

The survey data was collected between August and October 2016.

One hundred areas in each council district were surveyed. They included main roads; rural roads; high density housing; low density housing; recreational areas and industrial estates.

It emerged last year that although the cost of dealing with littering was going up, the number of enforcement cases was going down.

In 2016 it stood at 3,724, down from 4,435 in 2014/15.

Seven of the 11 councils have signed up to the Live Here Love Here anti-litter initiative.

Businesses and government departments also support several clean up campaigns.