Edinburgh litter: £100 prizes for taking photo of yourself putting rubbish in a litter bin

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Putting litter into bins could soon win people in Edinburgh prizes of £100.

The city council has signed up to a lottery scheme which awards cash prizes every month for helping to keep the streets tidy. LitterLotto is a free-to-enter prize draw, with regular spot prizes and jackpots, supported by brands who want a cleaner environment.

Picture: Lisa FergusonPicture: Lisa Ferguson
Picture: Lisa Ferguson | TSPL Lisa Ferguson

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People are invited to download an app, then take pictures of themselves putting rubbish into a litter bin and upload the images, which are then automatically entered in the monthly draw. Each month there will be a £100 Edinburgh prize and a £1,000 Scotland-wide prize.

People can enter as many times as they like, but must dispose of a different item of rubbish each time.

LitterLotto says it incentivises good behaviour, encouraging people to dispose of their litter thoughtfully and responsibly - a “carrot” approach instead of a “stick”. It argues that as well as reducing litter, the scheme also has the potential to foster a greater sense of environmental stewardship within communities.

Midlothian, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Fife, Falkirk, Renfrewshire and North and South Ayrshire councils already take part in the lottery scheme.

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Transport and environment convener Scott Arthur is enthusiastic about the idea. He said: “I believe this will have a positive impact. If people are posting pictures that in itself is a good thing - people seeing other folk tidying up litter, which will hopefully encourage more people to do the same.”

The initiative - due to start in the autumn - comes as latest figures show Edinburgh improving its cleanliness ratings after a bad spell during Covid when statistics showed the Capital’s overall cleanliness had fallen from 89 per cent in 2017 to 82 per cent in 2021.

But the new data shows the average score for the number of sites with little or no litter has risen from 86.3 per cent in 2022/23 to 90.6 per cent in 2023/24.

Cllr Arthur said the improvement was partly the result of the pandemic being over, but also due to extra investment in the cleansing service by the council. He said: “I’m really proud we have started to get Edinburgh back on track on street cleansing. The staff have shown that when we give them the resources they can get the job done.”

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He said areas of deprivation had been targeted for action because they tended to have more of an issue with litter.

And soon the council plans to launch a blitz on chewing gum, starting in the area around the top of Leith Walk, Picardy Place, Leith Street and Greenside Place. The council secured £25,000 funding from Keep Britain Tidy to buy specialist equipment to tackle chewing gum.

And it will link that with £892,000 earmarked in the authority’s budget earlier this year for a “Scrub my Streets” initiative. If the work at the top of Leith Walk proves successful, similar blitzes could be launched across the city.

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