The affluent London borough of Kensington and Chelsea is removing litter bins claiming they attract the wrong kind of rubbish.
The local authority is concerned that bins are being used for commercial and residential waste that should be collected directly from businesses and homes.
In future the council plans to only place bins in busy areas, including shopping and tourist streets and outside schools, fast food restaurants, Tube stations and bus stops.
The council has already carried out a trial of the new plans on Earl’s Court Road, and reported only a very slight increase in littering.
“Both types of ‘abuse’ waste can fill litter bins very quickly as they tend to be full bags rather than ‘on-the-go’ litter,” a report compiled for the local authority said.
The authority has denied that the decision to withdraw the number of bins was about saving money, as it is already spending around £60,000 on new bins for the area.
However, residents have said the policy would lead to “chaos” as people would not look for a bin elsewhere.
William Casey, 20, a chemical engineering student from north London, speaking told the London Evening Standard: “People would just leave [litter] if they have nowhere else to put it. They can’t carry it around. I just hope they leave them next to the station for people’s recycling.”
A report on the proposals by the council’s head of waste and street enforcement, stated: “There are two schools of thought regarding litter bins; one is that litter bins are needed for the public to use, indeed that some members of the public look for litter bins in which to deposit waste, otherwise they may take it home or drop it on the street. The other is that litter bins attract more rubbish, some of which can be unpaid-for commercial waste and domestic waste.”
The decision to reduce the number of bins follows the controversial experiment the council undertook to implement a “naked streets” policy of removing all road markings, signs and pedestrian barriers on one road in the borough.