Cambuslang Main Street, like many town centres in Scotland, suffers from the blight of increasing numbers of commercial waste bins. This is visually unsightly and a cause of excess litter, spillage, fly-tipping and the attraction of vermin. The bins also present a hazard for pedestrians.
Removing the bins is an important objective of the Cambuslang Town Centre Regeneration Strategy and a necessary complement to the planned investment in renewal of the streetscape of Cambuslang Main Street.
Much can be learned from other towns. There are five urban centres in Scotland that have implemented bins-off-street policies: Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and St Andrews. The evidence collated by Cambuslang Community Council is that these policies have been overwhelmingly successful, and that bin-free streets are now regarded as business as usual by the local authorities involved.
Introducing bins-off-streets policies presents challenges, in particular the likelihood of initial resistance from businesses and waste contractors who need to find new ways of managing and storing waste. However, the experiences of other urban centres – described in detail in this report – provide guidance on how policies can be developed and communicated, how businesses can be supported, and how compliance can be managed.
Among the lessons from other Councils operating bins-off-streets policies, the most fundamental is political commitment. Council leadership on the part of elected members and senior executives is vital for any bins-off-streets policy to succeed.
On the basis of the practical guidance provided in this report, Cambuslang Community Council are proposing to South Lanarkshire Council that a bins-off-street policy is piloted in Cambuslang. If the policy can be made to work in Cambuslang, it will provide important lessons for other towns in South Lanarkshire, and indeed for other local authorities outside the big cities in the Central Belt of Scotland.
Here is a a link to a copy of our report. Getting waste bins off our Main Streets: Lessons for South Lanarkshire Council from Good Practice in Scotland
We are starting conversations with all businesses in Cambuslang Town Centre over the summer, but we are keen to get views from across the community. Let us know what you think by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks!