Bin re­moval trial suc­cess

Scheme set to be ex­tended

The Galloway News - - HIGH COURT CASE - Stu­art Gille­spie

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.”

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