Smartstreets-Smartbins: A smarter approach to cigarette and gum litter

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement confirmed that Local Authorities are facing tough times with budgets being held down next year to deliver a freeze in council tax followed by an expectation of efficiency savings the following year.  This will inevitably mean that there are some hard decisions to be made as councils juggle the budgets across varying services.

One of the problems which councils face is that when they are doing their job well, they are almost invisible.  We expect our bins to be emptied, our schools to run and social housing to be there if needed.  It is generally only when something goes wrong that the local authority comes to our attention, and when it does, we look for them to act.  So when Local Authorities receive 500,000 complaints per year about one particular subject, the pressure on them to act is immense.

That one subject is the dropping of chewing gum and cigarette butts on our streets.  Cleaning up chewing gum alone costs 10p per blob and it is estimated that local authorities spend over £150m each year in removing gum and more than £340m in cleaning up smoking related litter.  And statistics show that for 67% of us the main reason why we drop gum and butts is that we couldn’t see a bin nearby.

But in a number of areas we simply won’t have that excuse any more.  Smartstreets-Smartbins™ have been adopted by over one hundred councils and more are expressing interest all the time.  The Smartbins™ concept is simple.  Made of recycled aluminium the Smartbins™ are small, made for purpose and can be retro-fitted to any lamp post, wall, railing or column.  With a Smartbin™ on every lamppost there is no excuse for litter to be dropped.  Installed on a high footfall location, studies have shown that a single Smartbin™ can collect 500 cigarette butts or pieces of gum per week;  installed in areas such as tube entrances this amount can be collected in a day.

A reduction in micro litter saves local authorities clean up time and costs, it benefits the environment and improves the look and feel of an area.  For local authorities this is a win-win situation and in addition to having been adopted by local councils, university campuses and private businesses within the UK  Smartstreets-Smartbins™  are already being exported to seven other countries.  The concept has already won 8 international product deisgn awards and we were happy to add a Green Apple Award.

For more details visit :