Is the idea of new funnel bins a load of rubbish?

New funnel bin reward scheme trialled at service stations to encourage drivers to dispose of litter

Drivers using motorway service stations up and down the country are being encouraged by way of 5p vouchers to dispose of their rubbish properly by using specially designed funnel bins.

Any driver who recycles their coffee cups and empty bottles by placing them in the bright orange bins located within the outdoor service station area will receive a 5p voucher.

The new trial scheme basically rewards motorists who make the effort to place their rubbish in the specially designed bins in an effort to reduce the amount of litter thrown on the roadside. The first ever recycling award bins will soon be appearing at service stations in Maidstone, Kent. Any motorists who use the bins will receive a 5p voucher for each coffee cup or plastic bottle disposed of via the orange funnel-shaped bins.

Over the past four weeks, researchers have been measuring the level of litter at Kent service areas, so will compare what impact the new funnel bins have had over the next six months.
If they prove successful, orange funnel bins will appear at more service stations throughout England’s 1,800 mile stretch of the motorway network.

The environmental charity Hubbub are behind the trial after receiving backing for the scheme from Costa Express, Highways England, Road Chef and Shell.

Highways England recently revealed that the cost to taxpayers for clearing up roadside litter is on average around £8 million a year and said they collect approximately 550 sacks of rubbish each day from the road network they look after, with each sack costing £40.

“Litter isn’t just unsightly; it can block drains and harm wildlife. Picking it up puts road workers in harm’s way and is a distraction from other vital work they could be doing,” said Wayne Moore, Highways England service delivery manager.

In a previous trial carried out by Highways England, 25 service stations placed special funnel bins on their site to encourage motorists to throw their litter away properly and the 10-week trial showed positive results, with a 25% reduction in roadside litter last year on Winchester services on the M3.

However, despite successful results, campaigners believe the agency’s litter plan is not enough and need to do their job properly.

“As required by Section 89 of the 1990 Environmental Protection Act, Highways England has a statutory duty to keep the network clear of litter, but is visibly failing to do that,” said John Read, founder of Clean Up Britain.

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