New innovative bins smarten up Merton

Merton Council has teamed up with UK designers Smartstreets to reduce the amount of gum and cigarette litter in the borough.

A total of 10 Smartbins have been fitted to posts in Morden town centre as part of a trial to see how successful this initiative will be in reducing litter.

The new Smartbins are made from recycled aluminium and stainless steel, and have a wrap-around design which can be fitted to a lamp post.

Although last year saw a 20 per cent drop in gum litter across the borough, more still needs to be done to reduce litter even further. Merton Council spends over £3million every year on street cleaning alone – money which could otherwise be spent on other services for residents.

Litter continues to be a widespread environmental and financial problem across the country. Around 200million cigarette butts are dropped every day in the UK. Local authorities spend on average £150m each year on removing gum from streets.

The trial will last for four weeks and, during this period, Merton will be measuring the amount of litter disposed in all Smartbins.

Merton Council’s cabinet member for performance and implementation, Councillor Mark Betteridge, said: ‘Our annual residents’ survey shows that almost 60% of residents are satisfied with street cleaning in Merton – and that’s higher than the rest of London. However, dropping litter continues to be an environmental concern, which is why we want to work harder at further reducing the amount of litter on our streets. The smart bins could be one way we do this, by making it easier for people to dispose of their gum or cigarette litter. They are located in key spots across Morden town centre where they can be easily seen and used by local residents and visitors.’

Residents and visitors can feed back their comments on the Smartbins by emailing

For more information on the Smartbins initiative, please visit or call 020 8274 4902.

Notes to editors:

– Smartbins are a product of Smartstreets. More information is available at: