First there was Trainspotting. Now there’s Flyspotting.
Leithers have launched a campaign to tackle litterbugs with a take on the Choose Life theme from the famous film’s branding.
Residents have been invited to become ‘flyspotters’ as part of a drive to reduce the dumping of rubbish on local streets, led by Leith environmental charity Changeworks.
Locals say that the ditching of furniture, black bags and other unwanted bulky items on the street – an illegal practise known as flytipping – is having a negative impact on the area.
One resident said: “Sometimes it’s people from outside the area like landlords or people with Air BnBs.
“They change the furniture in their flats and leave the old stuff on our pavements.
“But sometimes it’s lazy locals.
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“A few selfish folk can spoil the street for everyone.”
Research commissioned this year by Scottish environmental charity Changeworks found that eight out of ten people surveyed in Leith think that flytipping is a big problem which has affected them personally.
Leith legend Mary Moriarty helped launch the campaign yesterday.
Changeworks commissioned local designers Zsuzsa and Gerry Farrell of Gerry Farrell Ink, who also run volunteer anti-litter organisation Leithers Don’t Litter, to design the catchy anti-flytipping campaign.
Zsuzsa and Gerry coined the term ‘flyspotting’ to represent a new approach to tackling flytipping – with a nod to popular the Trainspotting films, set in the area.
As well as a bit of fun, the term aims to encourage the local community to become actively involved in ‘spotting’ and reporting flytipping incidences, supported by a visible campaign of posters, stickers and stencils on the streets which say to potential flytippers: “Not in our neighbourhood”.
To tackle flytipping Changeworks has joined up with Edinburgh Council and a team of local organisations on a new project called Zero Waste Leith.
One of the project’s aims is to develop and trial new approaches to helping a community achieve cleaner, greener streets. If successful, they could be rolled out into other parts of Leith, the rest of Edinburgh and potentially in other urban areas across Scotland.
Zero Waste Leith co-ordinator at Changeworks, Hannah Milne, said: “I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks of it, and am looking forward to enjoying the clean streets of Leith!
“We will be working with our team of volunteers to post a new ‘Sunshine on Leith’ magazine about flytipping through letterboxes in our pilot area.
“We’ll be putting out posters, stencil messages and ‘Flyspotting’ stickers in the area, including a photo series on the railings of Dalmeny Street Park that picture locals sharing their thoughts on flytipping.
Edinburgh Council transport and environment convener Cllr Lesley Macinnes, said: “This eye-catching campaign is bound to capture the interest of people in Leith and I’m delighted to see that locals are already getting into the spirit by taking part in recent litter picks.
“It’s this kind of community involvement that drives the Council’s own Our Edinburgh initiative, which has seen people across the city taking pride in their local neighbourhoods.”