Council’s innovative ‘ballot bin’ trial is underway

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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is set to trial ‘ballot bins’ within the town centres of Armagh, Banbridge and Lurgan, in an effort to change cigarette littering behaviour across the borough.

Surveys have shown that cigarette litter is Northern Ireland’s most common type of litter, being present on over 80% of our streets. This type of littering has an environmental, economic and social impact upon our communities.

By providing a positive solution in targeted areas, it is hoped that the introduction of these ballot bins will reduce smoking related litter in the long term.

Welcoming the ballot bins, Chair of the Environmental Services Committee, Alderman Elizabeth Ingram commented:

“It is great to see the trialling of these ballot bins across the borough. We hope that by engaging with smokers in this innovative way, we can encourage them to make responsible choices about how they dispose of their cigarette litter and that people will be more aware of their actions in the future.”

The ballot bins are customisable ashtray bins, which use a voting system to encourage people to use them. Posing questions such as favourite films or type of music, the bins allow users to vote for their preferred answer by choosing one of the two containers, with a window in the bin displaying which choice is winning.

The bins are a fun way to get people engaged in putting cigarette butts in a bin rather than just stubbing them out on the pavement without thinking.

With three ballot bins in place, further bins will be installed in the New Year in identified areas across the borough.

This trial is one aspect of council’s Clean Neighbourhoods Action Plan, and with engagement, education and enforcement at its core, the plan aims to encourage all citizens to take pride in the appearance of open spaces and streets in towns and villages across the borough.