Council rolls out scheme that pinpoints litter bins needing attention

14 February 2022

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s trial involving the use of QR codes on litter bins is now being rolled out across the borough, streamlining how residents can check when a bin will be emptied.  

The codes are a new and exciting way for residents to find out when bins are due to be emptied which prevents the need to report it.
The Council is the one of the first, if not the first, to use such technology for this purpose.

QR codes were originally placed on 115 bins in the trial, each with a unique QR code which can be scanned with a smartphone. This opens a direct link to the ‘Report It’ section of the Council’s website, identifying the exact location of bin and where possible information on when the bin is next due to be emptied.  Residents can then report bins that are damaged or need emptying.

Areas included in the initial trial were locations in Winsford; Grosvenor Park, Chester; Marbury Park, Northwich and Chester city centre’s Big Belly bins.  The new roll-out of the scheme will see QR codes placed on over 3,000 bins across the borough in the coming weeks.
This system will avoid the need to report a bin, if it is due to be emptied the same or next day.

However, Chester’s Big Belly bins operate in a different way. They should not have any issues regarding emptying as they are solar-powered compactor bins, with a system of notification lights.  A green flashing light means it is OK to use it, an orange light means the bin is 80% full and a notification message is sent to the Council’s StreetCare teams to empty it.  A red light means it’s full, so please take your litter home or find an alternative bin.  Litter needs to be fully placed inside the bins for them to operate effectively.  Any issues such as vandalism or damage can be reported via the QR code.

The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “We believe we are one of the first authorities to use this technology for all our bins, if not THE first.  It will make finding out when bins are due to be emptied quicker and easier for all our residents. We’re very grateful to everyone who has previously got in touch with us if they have spotted that a bin is damaged or needed emptying.  Please use the QR codes if you spot a bin that needs attention.”

The pandemic has seen an increase in dog ownership, new dog owners may not know they are able to place bagged dog mess in any bin, it doesn’t have to be a special dog mess bin.

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