Bigbelly Deployment Results in Measurably Less Litter in Uppsala, Sweden

The municipality of Uppsala, Sweden has taken the lead in creating an incredibly engaging public space waste program. On a mission to diminish litter in their parks and on their streets, Uppsala deployed the first ever “garbage choir” of Bigbelly smart waste units – both elders (high capacity, compactors) and youngsters (standard capacity, non-compactors) – to educate and encourage proper waste disposal in their community’s public spaces.

According to Maria Gardfjell (MP), chairman of the responsible municipal board, “fundamentally, it is an issue of changing attitudes and to encourage all of us to put our litter where it belongs, in a dust bin.”  Since deployment of the Bigbelly system as the community “garbage choir” in early 2016, Uppsala has experienced measurable litter reduction.

Read on for a translated press release from the municipal news desk:

In August, the Uppsala municipality carried out a litter measure in both parks and streets. The measurement shows that there is less litter this year than 2016. In the parks, the number of trash per ten square meters (10sqm) decreased from 3.26 to 1.03 and on the street from 7.53 to 4.93. Cigarette stubs is still the most common litter and the municipality plans a campaign to reduce the number of stubs thrown on the ground.

The citizens are getting better at throwing their litter into the city’s litter bins. The municipality has invested in both campaigns for reducing litter and ensuring that there are trash cans, making it easy to do the right thing.

“We are very happy and proud that so many take responsibility to reduce the littering. The public environment is everyone’s living space and it is important that we continue to keep clean for our own sake and for others,” says Johan Lundqvist (MP), chairman of the street and community environment committee. 

The citizens of Uppsala are good at throwing paper, plastic and leftovers in the bin. On the other hand, nicotine related litter, still all too often end up on the ground. “Even stubs contain plastics and poisonous substances that do not break down but affect the environment, risk getting into the water and in the worst case animals or children can pick up the stubs and get sick,” says Sofia Hellström, project manager.

In the city garden, the litter, besides stubs and snus, consisted largely of plate confectionery, which is regularly expelled from tradesmen in the area. Even in that case there is a risk that the plastic, in addition to giving the park a dirty  impression, will end in Fyrisån and affect the environment for plants and fish. In the spring, the municipality will focus on a special campaign to reduce the littering of nicotine based while continuing to further reduce the littering in general.

Source: Municipality of Uppsala News Desk


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