HEREFORDSHIRE Council leaders say removing rubbish bins from some areas of the county may actually reduce litter and flytipping.

The council has recently undertaken research to understand public perceptions of and behaviour towards littering in partnership with Balfour Beatty Living Places.

The council was one of ten organisations nationally to secure funding from the Waste and Resources Action Programme to undertake an ‘innovative qualitative research’ project.

The research involved removing 11 litter bins in ten specially selected rural, semi-rural, layby and urban locations, and studying the response of the public.

Litter and fly-tipping at each location was assessed before and after removal and data analysed.

They also conducted four workshops to understand public attitudes towards litter.

The initial findings indicated that removing some of the bins in some rural and urban areas may actually reduce litter and fly tipping by encouraging people to take responsibility for their waste, take it home and dispose of it correctly.

Transport and regulatory services cabinet member Barry Durkin said: “Herefordshire Council currently spends £1.2 million each year on cleaning up litter in Herefordshire and we want to do everything in our power to address the issue.

“The initial results indicate we may indeed need to bin some of our assumptions about littering and to take responsibility for how we dispose of our waste.

“Our litter team, using national research funding, have produced some interesting results that require further study and consideration to inform future decision making.

“Although these are only initial indications, it is evident that fewer bins in certain areas could actually result in less litter and less fly tipping.”