Cllr Lesley Hinds and Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham beside 'smart bin'

Cllr Lesley Hinds and Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham beside ‘smart bin’

In the coming months the Scottish Government will introduce new statutory litter guidance which will encourage duty holders to attach greater priority to preventing litter from arising in the first place, aiming to reduce the amount of resources being spent on cleaning up other people’s mess.

With over £1 million spent tackling litter every single week across Scotland, the Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham is enabling local authorities and other public bodies to take action on prevention.

She signalled her commitment to revising the Code of Practice for Litter and Refuse (COPLAR) while visiting Edinburgh City Council’s innovative ‘smart bin’ scheme which uses smart technology to ensure collection crews always empty bins before they reach capacity.

She said:

“Public bodies across Scotland spend a huge amount of money on tackling litter and flytipping – funds which could be better spent on other services. The aim of our national litter strategy Towards a Litter-free Scotland is to drive a fundamental change in how councils and others deal with the litter problem. It’s about refocusing efforts on stopping littering behaviour in the first place, because prevention is always better than cure.”

“We will place updated guidance before the Scottish Parliament in the coming months, which will broaden the measures that councils and others can take to reduce litter and improve local environmental quality.”

“I welcome the leadership being shown by councils like Edinburgh in introducing innovative measures like smart bins which help prevent litter from overflowing.  Sharing evidence of what works between councils and others involved in reducing litter will be key to achieving our litter prevention aims.”

As part of Glasgow City Council’s recent budget conversations improving the local environment (dog fouling, litter, fly tipping etc.) remains a priority issue for people. In Glasgow you can report any environmental issues to the Council’s Environmental Task Force to be actioned.

The updated Code of Practice for Litter and Refuse will provide practical guidance, primarily for public bodies, regarding two Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990 duties:

  • Duty 1: to keep land and roads clear of litter and refuse
  • Duty 2: to keep roads clean