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Local Authority Case Studies



Area (hectares) 225,000
Population (1996) 75,500
Tipperary Town Council population 4,854
Cashel Town Council population 2,687
Carrick-on-Suir Town Council population 5,172
Miles of road 1,824

Phase 1 (Set-up Phase)

Work commenced in June 2000 with the identification of Potential Litter Generators. This work was carried out by the GIS technician based in the environment section, in addition to her other duties. The technician carried out visual surveys along the roads and in the towns and villages in the county. This work continued throughout the winter and spring of 2000 and 2001, when weather permitted.

At this stage the Town Councils were notified and asked to produce a map of their areas with Litter Blackspots identified. As litter generators were identified they were logged into the Data Entry Database and their locations mapped on the Litter GIS. The technician found that mapping the generators soon after they were identified attained a higher level of accuracy.

The information on Litter blackspots obtained from the Town Councils was entered into the database under the category as most severe generators of litter.

The technician carrying out the surveys was from the county and found her local knowledge to be very helpful in carrying out these surveys.

A bound book of A3 size maps of all the towns and villages in black and white vector format, and alphabetical order was prepared by the technician to facilitate the surveys. This was found to be an invaluable means of transporting and preserving a hard copy record of the litter generators. As the surveys were carried out the generators were simply marked and named on these maps. The Litter Generator Identification form was found to be unnecessary and was not used. For identifying rural generators, photocopied OS Discovery 1:50,000, raster mapping was used.

The Identification of the Generators, the Entry of Information and the logging of the generators on the GIS was completed by June 2001.


Total Number Generators: 858
Class 1:341
Class 2:484
Class 3:33

Phase 2 (Benchmark Phase)

For the purpose of carrying out the Litter Quantification and the Litter Pollution surveys over the summer two students were recruited. These students took charge of both surveying and data entry of results under the supervision of the GIS Technician. Surveying and data entry was carried out over ten weeks during the summer. Areas that were surveyed included all Council Areas and Town Councils, with the exception of Clonmel Borough Council. The Town Councils were contacted, and given the option of carrying out the surveys themselves or assisting the students to carry out the surveys.

Out of the three Town Councils one decided to undertake surveying themselves, one assisted the students in the surveying and one decided to allow the students undertake the surveys. It is possible that a higher level of consistency may have been returned if the students had carried out all the surveying, as surveying is subjective. It was important that the persons carrying out the surveying understood why particular areas to be surveyed were chosen, to facilitate this the students became familiar with the handbook provided.

The GIS system proved very accurate in pinpointing the blackspots in the county, when these were surveyed they were usually quite littered.

It was found to be very time consuming to draw the location of each survey on the GIS, so the GIS was used mainly to locate blackspots and view streets etc.

Surveys were carried out according to the direction provided within the handbook, a photo was taken of each survey area and the relevant form was completed. It was not possible due to time and distance to travel to survey the same areas on a monthly basis throughout the summer from May to October; different areas of a town were normally surveyed on the same day or over a number of days.

When the surveying was completed results were entered into the Excel and Access databases respectively. Results have now been fully entered and have been forwarded to the Litter Monitoring Body.


Total No. Litter Pollution Surveys undertaken = 154
Grade 1: 59 39%
Grade 2: 48 31%
Grade 3: 23 14%
Grade 4: 9 6%
Grade 5: 15 10%

Total No. Litter Quantification Surveys undertaken = 30

This Litter Monitoring System was found useful in the sense that it highlighted Litter Pollution as a measurable problem. Its true benefits should be seen next year when surveying is carried out again and results compared against the benchmarks that were created this year.

Ms. Clare Lee, South Tipperary County Council, Aras an Chontae, Emmet Street, Clonmel, County Tipperary.
Tel: 052 34600

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