CaRT removing litter bins to reduce litter!

Published: Friday, 16 June 2017

THE latest crazy scheme from Canal & River Trust is a national plan to reduce its waterside litter bins in order to reduce litter!

At a recent meeting between Canal & River Trust and the National Bargee Travellers Association London Branch, the Trust stated that it has a national plan to remove 40% of litter bins from the towpaths in order to reduce litter.

Keep them in storage

It plans to keep them in storage and only reinstate them if litter continues to be a problem.

Sam Thomas, Canal & River Trust London Customer Operations Manager, told that 'there is equal evidence for and against having less bins', though he was not able to share this evidence, but when replying to the  anti-litter campaign group Keep Britain Tidy, he blamed the 'mistreatment' of bins as a reason to remove them, telling the meeting:

"In London, a number of litter bins along the towpath were being mistreated and were being used by people to fly tip. This means the bins in question were overflowing. People walking along the towpath will have to carry their litter a little further to put it in a bin, or maybe even take it home.”

Already removing bins

However, the plan to remove 40% of litter bins is a national policy, not just a London policy. It’s strange to argue that the 'mistreatment' of litter bins in London is a good reason to take away bins nationally. Yet, CaRT has already started removing litter bins.

Two bins were removed in Cheshunt on the Lee Navigation, one of which was next to the permanent ice cream boat. Another bin has been taken from a busy picnic area in Hackney on the Regents Canal, with a spokesman from Keep Britain Tidy rightly called the move by CaRT 'concerning'.

No shortage of litter

A spokesman for the National Bargee Travellers Association complained:

"It is already a struggle to find litter bins on the towpath, particularly in West London, yet there’s never a  shortage of litter. So it would be interesting to see what evidence CaRT has to support their view that less bins equals less litter.

"Many have suggested that emptying the bins more often would solve any 'overflowing' issues, yet when questioned about the frequency at which bins are emptied, CaRT’s vague response stated 'some daily, some weekly, some depend on season'. This is simply not good enough—perhaps they should have a clear policy on emptying bins before they start removing them.

Thought they were joking

Marcus Trower, the Deputy Chairman of the National Bargee Travellers Association exclaimed:

“When CaRT told us about their plans to take away 40% of bins to reduce litter, I thought they were joking. Then to store them and put them back if it doesn't work, sounds like a kind of dance routine with bins:

You put the bins in,

You take the bins out,

Store them for a bit,

And then put them back again."

"This plan must be in CaRT's top 10 list of bad ideas. Think about the money that will be spent on this dead-end plan. If the public have nowhere to put their litter, it will be thrown on the ground, get into the water and end up around our propellers. I hope CaRT has a serious rethink.”