The number of incidents of dumping is on the increase in Ireland, a business group has warned.The rising costs of waste disposal is expected to exacerbate the problem, Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) said.
Some of the money raised from collection services should be devoted to tackling the illegality by those trying to evade charges, the representative group urged.
Spokesman Conor Horgan said: "It may not be as widespread, but dumping is the new litter in many respects."
Inspectors pinpointed a dumping ground near Sheriff St Park in north inner city Dublin, rubbish along a canal pathway at Guild St and several sites suffering from long-term abuse and neglect.Mr Horgan added: "Dumping appears to be on the increase, and the more we ask people to pay for waste disposal, the greater an issue it is likely to become."
In Galvone in Limerick, the rear of the industrial estate was a litter blackspot, and there were problems at the Irish Rail site near Kennedy Park and the recycle facility at Roxboro Shopping Centre, which was in "a terrible state".
Despite improvements in the capital's north inner city, surveyors said they were disappointed that littered sites which were previously highlighted have not been cleaned up.
Cork City North was also littered.
Mr Horgan added: "We haven't seen as much improvement in these social housing areas, where communities are often transient, social neglect is evident, and community groups and tidy towns committees are lacking compared to in mixed communities.
"Without these volunteer forces supporting the efforts of the council, these areas will simply not be clean on a sustained basis."
The survey found that 80% of towns and cities were as clean as their European counterparts.
Over 90% of rural towns surveyed were deemed clean, while Dublin, Cork and Galway city centres all scored well in the ranking of 40 areas.
An Taisce assessed litter levels in 40 towns and cities on behalf of IBAL.
Tullamore topped the rankings, followed by areas near Dublin Airport and Leixlip.
There was a wide gap between towns and disadvantaged city areas.
Mr Horgan added: "In the 16 years we have been conducting these surveys, this is possibly our best result.
"Across the board we have seen improvements."The news is all the more positive given the importance of how we present our country over the summer months, when we attract over 40% of our visitors.
"Also satisfying is the pristine state of the roads around Dublin Airport, which help form a first impression for many of these visitors."
Environment minister Denis Naughten said he was particularly concerned about levels of fly-tipping and illegal dumping and had provided resources for a new enforcement initiative.
He said: "The initiative involves key stakeholders including the waste enforcement regional lead authorities, local authorities, agencies and voluntary bodies, and I have made a total of €1.3m available for the scheme."