South Lanarkshire Council is tackling littering by installing six ‘smart bins’ at a local park.

The council is working with locals to make sure that there are enough bins in local areas and there is no excuse to drop litter. 

This comes as during the summer months, the impact of litter on streets, open spaces and neighbourhoods can increase. 

The local authority has now trialled six ‘smart’ solar bins in James Hamilton Heritage Park in East Kilbride.

Councillor Robert Brown (Rutherglen South), chair of the Community and Enterprise Resources Committee, said: “The council is determined to stamp down on this problem once and for all, and to do so by making use of increasingly ‘smart’ and environmentally friendly methods.

“The solar bins were tried out very successfully in East Kilbride with overwhelmingly positive feedback from visitors.

"I am delighted that, as we promised at the beginning of the trial, we have evaluated the outcome and invested in stock of our own.

“South Lanarkshire is a fantastic and unique mix of urban and rural. As a place to live, work and visit, it offers so much.

"Together with the majority in our communities, we take our role in maintaining that reputation very seriously.”

The high-tech bins which are powered by solar energy can collect litter of all types, including dog waste.

The bins are also designed to compact waste to increase capacity, send a signal when the bin is nearly full and collect data on the use and volumes of waste deposited.

And the bins play a part in the council’s commitment to reaching Net Zero by 2045 as journeys by grounds staff to and from their locations are reduced by around half from daily to around three times per week as bins are only being emptied when needed and fewer plastic bin liners are used.

Councillor Davie McLachlan (Hamilton North and East) is the chair of the Housing and Technical Resources Committee which includes the council’s anti-social behaviour team.

He said: “To those who think that dropping a wrapper or food and drink is no big deal I would point to ongoing research by councils, charities and government which tells us that streets and open spaces strewn with litter can contribute to increased crime rates and even mental illness. 

“In extreme cases, broken glass, rusty cans, and lit cigarettes left lying around can cost people and animals their health or even their lives.

“It really is time for us all to show our streets and neighbours the respect they deserve and take pride in where we live, work and play, for all of our sakes.” 

The penalty for dropping litter in Scotland is currently £80 in the form of an on-the-spot fine, the council officers have the power to issue the fines and urge anyone who is concerned about areas or issues near them to report any related anti-social behaviour issues by calling 0800 389 1105.