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Layby interventions on A75 a success

Second round of trials confirms: removing layby bins can reduce roadside litter

Over the past year, Dumfries and Galloway Council have worked with Keep Scotland Beautiful to test a suite of interventions designed to reduce litter on their roads by targeting road users at laybys.

In the winter of 2018, bins were removed from 12 laybys and replaced with explanatory signage with the call to action: "No bins here. Give your litter a lift, take it home". This follows anecdotal feedback from a number of sources that roadside bins can actually attract more litter and flytipping than they prevent.

The remaining roadside bins in the area, with a total of 80 laybys, were stickered to increase their visibility, a measure known to effectively increase bin use from previous research.

Over a six week period following this intervention, crews cleared a weekly average of 401 bags of roadside litter from the area, as compared to an average of 580 bags of litter prior to the intervention. This is a 31% decrease.

These positive results lead to an expansion of the initiative, with 32 layby bins removed over the Summer 2018. With a similar baseline of 580 bags of litter, the average weekly litter collection over the 13 weeks following this intervention dropped 44% to 324 bags of litter.

Following the success of this trial, the council has agreed to permanently remove the 32 bins in order to decrease the incidence of roadside litter and, by extension, the pressure that it puts on the workforce resources associated with roadside litter picks on trunk roads.

Keep Scotland Beauiful will continue to work with the council on litter prevention and reduction initiatives on roadsides and elsewhere.

09 November 2018

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