Glasgow public bins to have QR codes to allow instant complaints about overflowing rubbish

Thousands of Glasgow public bins are to have new phone scanning codes displayed – so residents can complain instantly about overflowing litter.

The QR codes will be installed on public bins.

Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken said the QR codes are coming to the city streets this year.

The technology means it will be easier for people to instantly report if bins are full, damaged or have rubbish lying around.

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The code provides a scannable image that can be processed using a smartphone camera.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “We are introducing QR codes to all of our publicly-sited bins to make it easier for residents to report any issues with those bins.

“Each bin will have its own unique code and that will allow our staff to identify rapidly issues with any of our 5000 street litter bins or at more than 700 recycling points across the city.

“Bins can fill up quickly if there is a surge in demand at a specific location or end up damaged for a variety of reasons and reports from people on the street can make a big difference to how quickly our staff can respond.”

He said it is hoped “residents will see them as a useful tool in the effort to keep the city’s environment in good order.”

Council leader Susan Aitken revealed the new plan as she batted off criticism from Tory politicians over a ‘cleansing crisis’ at a council meeting last week.

Councillor Euan Blockley, Conservative, demanded what was happening to “spruce up” the city at the meeting.

Councillor Aitken said new neighbourhood coordinators are in post to sort out solutions to “persistent local challenges”.

The Langside politician said the officials will meet with councillors and community representatives to solve problems in local areas.

Councillor Aitken made remarks on television about Glasgow needing a spruce up – which seemed to spur Councillor Blockley’s question on the matter.

Councillor Blockley also asked whether the three weekly bin collection, bulk uplift charge and scrapping of the garden maintenance garden have made matters worse.

Insisting that was not the case, Aitken said new policies take time to bed in.

She pointed out there is an “unprecedented interest” in more recycling bins since the three weekly green bin collection was introduced.

Councillor Aitken said: “We have already seen since then a 12 per cent uplift in recyclate – early days but that is not insignificant.

“Glasgow has for a very long time been lagging behind.”

She added: “We are also seeing a flattening off of fly tipping reports. And alongside that there is a considerable reduction in the amount of time we are taking to respond to fly tipping reports.

“On average that used to be 28 days – they are now being dealt with within two or three days on average. The appointment system for bulk uplift gives people the chance to have their waste picked up at a specific time on that day rather than having to wait for 28 days.”

Councillor Aitken described them as necessary changes bringing reforms.

She added: “In many ways Glasgow’s environmental services in some respects were maybe 10 to 15 years behind other local authorities – which is part of the reason why our recycling rates were so low.”