Bristol council workers removing bins from parks in hope it will reduce litter

Bristol City Council are removing bins from green spaces and parks in the city, in the hope it will encourage more people to take their waste home and reduce the amount of litter.

Council officers in the Parks Department are trialling the experiment in Hartcliffe, Victoria Park and Windmill Hill which has seen bins in parks and open spaces removed.

It is hoped that this will encourage people not to stack up their rubbish when bins are full and overflowing, but take it home with them and recycle it properly.

The department suggested the same approach in July for The Downs. But in a decision taken this week, plans to remove bins were scrapped by The Downs Committee, who are responsible for the green space, with both councillors and members of the Merchant Venturers not agreeing with the proposals.

The Downs Committee rejected proposals by the council to remove all 36 bins from the Downs

But in Hartcliffe and other parts of South Bristol, the Parks Department have been able to unilaterally make the decision to remove bins, sparking outrage from one local councillor who said it felt like the council were saying Hartcliffe 'deserves to wallow in our own rubbish'.The controversial policy began earlier this year with the aim of ending the annual phenomenon of people in the parks of Bristol filling up the bins with their rubbish, and then leaving it around the bins when those bins were full.

The theory behind the new policy trial is to remove the bins completely - so people feel they must take their litter home with them.

The council said this approach has been 'successfully introduced' already in Victoria Park, between Totterdown and Bedminster, and has also been introduced more recently in Willmott Park, the main public open space in Hartcliffe, where all but one small bin in the children's playpark have removed.

Council officers removed the bins from Victoria Park in Bedminster after rubbish was left around them. Credit: PA.

When local councillor Kerry Bailes, who's ward included Wilmott Park, called for their return, she said she was told having more bins attracted fly tipping.Cllr Bailes recently visited other parks, including Arnos Vale, and found half a dozen bins, and has been calling for more bins in Hartcliffe for months.“I've been banging on about it to the council for months now, there are on average four or five bins in the other parks across Bristol that I've noticed compared to just one in Willmott Park,” she said.“It feels like they're saying we deserve to wallow in our own rubbish because it's Hartcliffe.

"They've taken them all away apart from the dog poo bins and the tiny litter bin that was installed with the playpark down by Greenditch."Removing the bins hasn't stopped fly-tipping or litter dropping,” she added.A Bristol City Council Spokesperson said: “Officers recently visited the park with Cllr Bailes to talk through the approach being taken and to explain that bins near entrances were removed as part of a trial to reduce fly-tipping in the park."Whilst this move has reduced litter around entrances to the park, we have already agreed to explore introducing more bins to central areas. The team are actively looking into the best options for doing this in a way that minimises the risk of vandalism and further fly-tipping."