KSB - The results of our latest anti-littering project show that many of the interventions proved a great success. The outcomes, which have been released in a summary report, show a 24 percent increase in brightly wrapped bin use and a reduction in cigarette litter following the installation of ‘vote with your butt’ bins.

For the first time in Scotland, it brought industry, the City council, charities, local businesses and people together - united in the vision of their community becoming litter free.  Our partners, Hubbub, who originally conceived and trialled the concept in London, were instrumental to the project's success, as were the City of Edinburgh Council and the Greater Grassmarket Improvement District.

Neat Streets, based in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh, was a project designed to influence littering behaviours by nudging people to dispose of their waste correctly.  The campaign ran over three phases between May and August 2016, with the aim of increasing civic pride and reducing the problem of litter with a series of highly visible activities in the Grassmarket. Black bins were transformed with bright colours attracting the attention of those using the Grassmarket area at night, voting bins were installed for cigarette litter and dark alleyways adorned with flourescent eyes to deter anti-social behaviour, among other interventions.

The key findings over the three phases include:

  • The project being consistently visible, and engaging with new audiences, whether people noticed litter or not;
  • An immediate, short term impact as a result of banners, lamppost wraps and planters, and cigarette bins;
  • 55% of people seeing one or more of the interventions during the project;
  • The brightly coloured wrapped bins showed on average a 24% increase in use.

Carole Noble, Operations Director at Keep Scotland Beautiful said: “The fundamental aim of the Neat Streets initiative was to raise awareness of, and reduce, litter which the project has achieved.

“Litter is an anti-social problem which is a genuine concern for communities throughout Scotland so any campaign which brings residents and businesses together with a common goal of tackling this issue is hugely important to civic pride.

“Keep Scotland Beautiful is delighted the Neat Streets project has generated results which we can use to look forward and build on in the future.  We know clean up campaigns work when communities are encouraged to take pride in the environment around them, so we will aim to do more of this.”

Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: “We are constantly striving to improve the appearance of our streets for residents, visitors and tourists alike, which is a particular challenge during the Festival season. By working with Keep Scotland Beautiful during the summer we were able to explore new and innovative ways of encouraging the public to dispose of their rubbish responsibly, helping to create a more tidy and welcoming environment for everyone.


“We have been able to use this experience to influence Our Edinburgh, our ongoing campaign to discourage anti-social behaviour like fly-tipping and litter-dropping, which encourages social responsibility and makes use of some of the creative approaches adopted by Neat Streets, such as the popular ballot bins.”

Read more about the project here.

Source: Keep Scotland Beautiful

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