Glasgow's new, big street bins are set to save the city from literally throwing away over 850,000 plastic bin bags every year.
Almost 950 of new larger capacity street bins have now been put in place in six areas across the city as part of a £3m scheme to install 5200 new street bins across the city by 2020.
With 10,000 old-style pole mounted and free standing bins being replaced, there has still been a 60% increase in street bin capacity and there are already signs that the new bins are helping to keep the city tidier.
An audit conducted by Keep Scotland Beautiful identified an 18% reduction in litter in the areas where the bins have been stationed and initial surveys within these communities indicate members of the public are expressing high rates of satisfaction with the new bins.
Sensors in the bins are currently being used to determine bin fill rates and to help the council develop suitable collection schedules. The bins require to be emptied much less frequently which improves the efficiency of the service.
Unlike the old-style bins, the housing for the new street bins contain wheelie bins, which means there is no need for a plastic bag lining that will end up in landfill along with tonnes of general waste. Not using plastic bags in street bins will also eventually save the council up to £60,000 per year.
Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, is delighted with contribution the bins are already making to efforts for a cleaner Glasgow. But with the council already working on a Plastic Reduction Action Plan, Councillor Richardson sees the phasing out of bin liners for street bins as quick win for the environment.
Councillor Richardson said: "Our new street bins are already making a positive impact and we hope to see a much cleaner Glasgow as they are installed across the city. The new bins are much larger and they contain the rubbish much more effectively. People now have no excuse not to use a street bin to dispose of their waste. Everyone still needs to do their bit to keep Glasgow tidy.
"These larger bins are much less likely to overflow and will prevent rubbish from being blown on to the street. We also have a new collection system for these bins, which means we no longer have plastic sacks sitting in the street waiting to be picked up. These bags sometimes split or are ripped and so we can now avoid refuse spilling on to the road, which will make a big difference.
"But one of the major pluses with the new scheme is the big reduction in the use of disposable plastic bags. As a city we are committed to reducing our reliance on single-use plastic and the switch to the new bins will stop us chucking away hundreds of thousands of plastic sacks every year. Work on a Plastic Reduction Action Plan for Glasgow is now underway but the introduction of street bins is a big step in the right direction in our efforts to stop using plastic so freely."
So far the new street bins, which have a capacity range of 140litres to 360 litres, have been introduced in the city centre, Dennistoun, Gorbals, Priesthill/Househillwood, Drumchapel and Govanhill. New recycling bins have also been introduced to the city centre.
Just over 100 residents in Drumchapel, Priesthill/Househillwood, Gorbals and Dennistoun were surveyed about their views on the bins before and after their installation. Previously between 95 and 100% of residents thought the existing provision of street bins was poor or very poor. Following installation the reaction of residents was transformed to between 86% and 100% viewing the bins as good or very good.