New sensors added to Falkirk’s bins to detect when they are full

Falkirk Council is to introduce bins with sensors that will detect when they are full after complaints about bins in public places that are overflowing.

Concerned residents have highlighted particular problems in areas around Denny and Dunipace, saying that bins that are full can lie unemptied for days, leading to piles of dog waste bags around them.

Some residents say there has been a huge increase in people out walking, along with a rise in dog ownership during lockdown - but that has not been matched by the frequency bins are emptied.

One criticised the fact that additional seats and benches have been put in Herbertshire Park, but no extra bins have been provided.

Residents have complained about overflowing bins
Residents have complained about overflowing bins

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said overflowing bins in Stoneywood made it look like they were "living in a midden".

A spokesperson for Falkirk Council said: "Thankfully, the overwhelming majority of the public recognise litter for the problem that it is and either take rubbish home or find another bin to place it in.

"Sadly, there are few individuals who do not.

"In the West area alone, we have nearly 550 bins to empty and we have scheduled their collection in the most efficient way we can relative to the resources available.

Councillor Paul Garner

"We fully recognise that higher footfall areas, such as next to parks and schools, require higher frequency of emptying in comparison to those in less congregated areas.

"These frequencies are then built into routes in which our operational teams follow across the Council area - this is the case at the areas mentioned in Stoneywood and Denny.

"We can support community litter initiatives (individuals and groups can sign up to ‘Take Pride in Falkirk’ on Facebook and very much appreciate the help the public give us in helping keeping our area clean and free of litter as far as possible."

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Councillor Paul Garner, the SNP's spokesperson for the environment, who is also a local councillor for the area, added: "I'm pleased to say the council has invested in SMART bin sensors and will begin rolling them out this summer in a number of areas, including Denny.

"This simple technology will allow us to gather data which, in turn, will shape service delivery.

"It will allow us to be more dynamic in our operations, helping drive efficiency, directing resources more efficiently.

"Further, it will help with the council’s environmental ambitions, preventing unnecessary journeys."

The Labour councillor for the area, Jim Blackwood, says he is concerned that some people are filling up public litter bins with household waste - a problem that has got worse as people have been working from home.

He said: "I have witnessed on a good number of occasions bags of waste left next to litter bins at bus stops and can only assume this is people leaving their household waste there."

He added: "The litter issue is a huge problem not only in Falkirk but throughout Scotland. People should take some pride in their community and country and not drop litter."

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