New, drive-through “giant funnel bins” are being installed at motorway service areas across the North West of England in a bid to reduce the amount litter dropped onto major roads, but it has been reported that several have already been damaged by larger vehicles trying to pass by.
Highways England is providing the bins after more than 40,000 sacks of rubbish had to be collected from motorways in the region last year – an average of 108 sacks for every mile of motorway. It follows a reported successful 10-week trial on the M3 at Winchester last year, which resulted in a 25% reduction in litter on the ground within the service area.
The window-height bins are being installed at around a dozen service areas in the North West over the next few months, and the first were installed at Lymm Services, by the M6 in Cheshire, earlier this week. Two different sizes of bins are being installed – ranging from 1.8 to 2.2 metres high – next to Give Way lines at the exit to service area car parks. The bins allow both car and lorry drivers to reach the half-a-metre-wide funnels from their vehicles’ windows.
However, it was reported by the BBC that by Thursday, three of the four bins had been damaged by “vehicles trying to get out because the bins’ locations ‘narrowed’ the exit route” from the site. It is believed that some larger vehicles may have clipped the bin’s funnels with their wing mirrors or trailers, causing the damage.
Paul Elliott, Service Delivery Team Leader at Highways England, said: “We’re committed to tackling littering on our network and are installing the funnel bins at service areas in the North West. The bins offer another opportunity for road users to dispose of their rubbish responsibly within service areas. Our teams of workers do a fantastic job removing litter from motorways every year but we’d much rather they were able to spend more of their time carrying out maintenance work.The new giant funnel bins will make it much easier for drivers to get rid of their litter as they won’t need to leave their vehicles, and I’d urge drivers to either use the bins on the network or to take their litter home with them.”
The North West litter initiative also involves trialling new signs with the message “Workers lives are put at risk picking your litter” and carrying out extra litter picking patrols to help tackle the issue.