The litter picking done by the many LitterAction volunteer groups throughout the UK is highly commendable and makes a real difference to the cleanliness of our outdoor areas. The efforts of the litter pickers could be greatly helped by installing more litter bins. Whilst this would not fully eradicate litter it would greatly help the problem with less litter being dropped. There will always be a mix of attitudes towards littering and these can be split into three groups of people; those that never drop litter and always ensure that their litter goes in a bin regardless of whether there is one close by; those that make no effort to put their litter into the bins; and those that will dispose of their litter into a bin if there is a bin close by and it’s made easy for them to dispose of their. By providing sufficient numbers of litter bins it is this third group of people that will drop less litter. 48% of people admit to dropping litter (source: http://www.keepbritaintidy.org/KeyIssues/Litter/Default.aspx) and I believe many of these people would not drop litter if there were more bins for public use.
To be effective, litter bins need to be emptied regularly – there’s no worse sight than an overflowing litter bin. Councils can be contacted to empty litter bins should there be a council-owned litter bin that is full and needs emptying. I would encourage everyone to do this should they see a full council-owned litter bin. Please also do the same and contact the relevant organisation for any other overflowing bins in public areas as when bins overflow litter often gets blown around by the wind, creating a worse litter problem than if there been no bin present at all. Litter bins with fully open tops are the worst offenders for this. When purchasing an outdoor bin where there is a possibility that it could overflow, choose a litter bin with a lid to minimise this problem.
There is a broad range of different types of litter bins available to meet different needs. Traditional style litter bins that have a modern construction are a popular choice. Their aesthetically pleasing design combined with a high density polyethylene construction allows traditional appearances to be retained whilst keeping costs low and providing a much longer usable life. Most new litter bins also come with ‘TidyMan’ logo printed on them, this universally recognised symbol provides a clear visual reminder to put litter in the bin.
By Lee Newell from ESE Direct, a UK-based supplier of litter bins