Bin removal trial success
Scheme set to be extended
Rubbish levels have dropped by nearly a third after bins were removed from laybys along the A75.
And the trial scheme has proved so successful that councillors will be asked to extend it on Tuesday.
In December, members of the communities committee agreed to take part in a trial scheme with Keep Scotland Beautiful where 12 bins would be removed from laybys along the Euroroute, four of which were in the Stewartry.
The theory was that people would be more likely to take their litter home if there was nowhere to put it rather than leave rubbish beside an overflowing bin.
And the evidence seems to back up the idea.
Community assets boss Karen Brownlie’s report for Tuesday’s meeting reveals that in the four weeks before the bins were removed, council staff collected 580 bags of rubbish from the region’s laybys a week.
Over the six weeks after the bins were removed, that dropped to around 401 bags a week.
The report said that the data could not prove whether signs urging people to take their litter home had an effect while there was no suggestion that “litter issues have diverted to other sites along the A75”.
However, the report does note an increase in fly-tipping during the period. Between January and March last year there were 21 incidents of fly-tipping investigated in A75 laybys with two fixed penalty notices. Over the same period this year that rose to 28 incidents and six penalties.
As a result of the “positive” trial, the report suggests the 12 bins are permanently removed and a further 20 bins along the A75 are taken away as a test.
There are also plans for the council’s community assets team to appoint a “litter champion” in each council ward who will be asked to educate people about the impacts of littering.
Communities committee chairman, Councillor Andy Ferguson, said: “You can’t argue with these numbers. This pilot has been about raising awareness of the issue and changing behaviour and these great results indicate that this has happened.
“Roadside litter continues to put an unnecessary strain on our council as our teams have to go out and clean it up. It is costly and dangerous to drivers and our workforce, who need to collect disregarded litter next to vehicles driving at 60mph.”