Glasgow bins to get QR codes for instant complaints about litter

The technology means it will be easier for people to instantly report if bins are full, damaged or have rubbish lying around.

Rubbish: Thousands of public bins in Glasgow are to have QR phone scanning codes displayed. Georgeclerk via IStock
Rubbish: Thousands of public bins in Glasgow are to have QR phone scanning codes displayed.

Thousands of public bins in Glasgow are to have new phone scanning codes displayed – so residents can complain instantly about overflowing litter. 

Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken said the QR codes are coming to the city streets this year. 

The technology means it will be easier for people to instantly report if bins are full, damaged or have rubbish lying around.

The code provides a scannable image that can be processed using a smartphone camera. 

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A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “We are introducing QR codes to all of our publicly-sited bins to make it easier for residents to report any issues with those bins.

“Each bin will have its own unique code and that will allow our staff to identify rapidly issues with any of our 5000 street litter bins or at more than 700 recycling points across the city.

“Bins can fill up quickly if there is a surge in demand at a specific location or end up damaged for a variety of reasons and reports from people on the street can make a big difference to how quickly our staff can respond.

He said it is hoped “residents will see them as a useful tool in the effort to keep the city’s environment in good order.”

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Council leader Susan Aitken revealed the new plan as she batted off criticism from Tory politicians over a ‘cleansing crisis’ at a council meeting last week.

Conservative councillor Euan Blockley demanded what was happening to “spruce” up the city at the meeting. 

Councillor Aitken said new neighbourhood coordinators are in post to sort out solutions to “persistent local challenges.”

The Langside politician said the officials will meet with councillors and community representatives to solve problems in local areas. 

Councillor Aitken made remarks on Scotland Tonight about Glasgow needing a spruce up – which seemed to spur councillor Blockley’s question on the matter. 

Councillor Blockley also asked whether the three-weekly bin collection, bulk uplift charge and scrapping of the garden maintenance service have made matters worse. 

Insisting that was not the case, the SNP’s Aitken said new policies take time to bed in.

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She pointed out there is an “unprecedented interest” in more recycling bins since the three-weekly green bin collection was introduced. 

Councillor Aitken said: “We have already seen since then a 12% uplift in recyclate – early days but that is not insignificant.

“Glasgow has for a very long time been lagging behind.”

She added: “We are also seeing a flattening off of fly-tipping reports. And alongside that there is a considerable reduction in the amount of time we are taking to respond to fly-tipping reports. 

“On average that used to be 28 days – they are now being dealt with within two or three days on average. The appointment system for bulk uplift gives people the chance to have their waste picked up at a specific time on that day rather than having to wait for 28 days.”

Councillor Aitken described them as necessary changes bringing reforms. 

She added: “In many ways Glasgow’s environmental services in some respects were maybe 10 to 15 years behind other local authorities – which is part of the reason why our recycling rates were so low.”

By local democracy reporter Sarah Hilley

‘Racist and sectarian’ singing at Orange marches condemned by police

Arrests made as chief superintendent says some participants intent on 'causing offence and stirring up hatred'.

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Outbreaks of “racist and sectarian singing” by people taking part in Orange Order processions through Glasgow have been condemned by police.

Officers made several arrests as thousands of people marched in the city on Saturday.

Crowds lined the streets in the city centre for the marches, including on George Street and West George Street, and there was a large police presence at Glasgow Green where members of the parades gathered in the afternoon.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Orange parades in the city and follows the cancellation of the biggest annual event, commemorating the Battle of the Boyne, the last two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Chief superintendent Mark Sutherland, divisional commander for Greater Glasgow said some participants were intent on “causing offence and stirring up hatred by singing unacceptable sectarian and racist songs”.

He said: “We are aware that on a number of occasions today there have been outbreaks of racist and sectarian singing by some of those attending to support the Orange Order processions, this is utterly unacceptable and we completely condemn this behaviour.

“Where possible, we are seeking to take action against those intent on causing harm and dividing our communities, we have already made arrests in connection with various offences and will continue to do so where required. With large crowds gathering today, our main priority has been public safety and to ensure minimum disruption to the wider public.

“Once again, we see a number of people intent in causing offence and stirring up hatred by singing unacceptable sectarian and racist songs, I want to again condemn this behaviour in the strongest possible terms.

“It is clear that sectarianism remains a serious, ongoing problem in Scotland and whilst policing has an important role in tackling this type of behaviour, this is a collective problem and needs to be addressed in a collective, collaborative manner.”

Earlier this week, Glasgow’s police chief warned the force will not tolerate “offensive behaviour, including hate crimes, drunkenness and disorder” and urged the “large majority” who behave in the “right way” to influence those around them.

Jim McHarg, Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, told STV News: “As per normal, our members behave in the right manner and always have done and always will do.

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“Everyone in the parade shows respect to every part of the community and all we ask for is the people who come along to support understand that, and indeed the people who object to our existence – that they respect us.”

But the Church of Scotland took to Twitter as the marches took place to condemn anti-Catholic bigotry.

It said: “The Church of Scotland opposes anti-Catholic bigotry and sectarianism. We have a very close working relationship with the Roman Catholic Church.

“Over the years we have worked together to tackle sectarianism and support one another.

“We speak to leaders in the Roman Catholic Church every week and greatly appreciate the friendship that exists between our churches and our communities.”

Up to 800 police officers were deployed to manage the event, which saw marches proceed through the city centre and past Catholic churches.

Following an assault on a Catholic priest in July 2018, marches were re-routed to avoid passing St Alphonsus church on London Road in 2019.

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Members of Call It Out, a campaign group that opposes anti-Irish and anti-Catholic bigotry, were spotted holding “peaceful vigils” outside churches on the routes.

A spokeswoman for the group said: “We are calling on all Glasgow citizens, trade unionists, anti-racists, equality campaigners and those opposed to egregious manifestations of anti-Catholic hatred to join us in peaceful protest in response to the imposition of these marches by anti-Catholic organisations.”

Scotland records another 27 Covid deaths and 6116 new cases

Scottish Government daily figures show almost 100 people are receiving intensive care in hospital.

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Coronavirus: Another 27 deaths have been recorded in past 24 hours.

A total of 27 new coronavirus-linked deaths have been recorded in Scotland, according to the latest Government figures.

The data shows a total of 6116 people tested positive for the virus in the last 48 hours.

The Scottish Government said Saturday’s case numbers may be higher than normal due to a backlog of data being processed following technical issues at Public Health Scotland on Thursday.

The latest figures mean the daily positivity rate currently stands at 9.0%.

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The death toll under the daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is now 8,376.

A total of 99 people were in intensive care on Friday with recently confirmed Covid-19, up 12 from the day before, and 1052 Covid patients were in hospital overall, 15 more than the previous day.

So far, 4,151,735 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination and 3,802,183 have received their second dose.

PCR testing for travellers ‘essential to track new variants’

One of Scotland’s leading epidemiologists has backed the decision to keep PCR testing in place for international travellers.

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Those arriving in Scotland will still be required to take a pre-departure test.

One of Scotland’s leading epidemiologists has backed the Scottish Government’s decision to keep PCR testing in place for international travellers.

The UK Government has announced it will allow vaccinated travellers to replace the PCR test currently required on day two of their return to England with a cheaper lateral flow test from next month. They will also no longer have to take a pre-departure test before returning.

But those arriving north of the border will still be required to take the pre-departure test – including from non-red list destinations – before returning, even if they are fully vaccinated, and the day two test will have to be a PCR.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland on Saturday, Professor Devi Sridhar, a professor of global public health at Edinburgh University, said she fully supports the Scottish Government’s decision to keep the testing regime in place.

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She said: “Letting go of PCR testing is letting go of one of the main ways we would identify new variants, and be able to even know if it was coming in, if it was being seated.

“And secondly, to be able to catch positive cases that we have tried to control and keep the numbers as low as we can and the pressure off the NHS.”

Prof Sridhar also said the Government needs to make PCR testing more affordable and accessible for those travelling to and from Scotland.

She said: “It is important to keep the testing in place because I was looking at some of the numbers yesterday and of the people arriving into the UK – and again, these are people who need to have a negative lateral flow test before flying – about 400 people are arriving testing positive after being fully vaccinated and about 1,000 people are testing positive for being unvaccinated.

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“If we’re not testing for those people coming in, they wouldn’t even know they’re positive and need to isolate, nor would we be able to sequence those to know if there’s a new variant coming in, which is one of the main things we are concerned about going into winter.”

The Scottish Government also confirmed in a statement on Friday that it will end its current traffic light system for international travel.

From October 4, the green and amber lists will merge but the red list will remain.

Current amber list rules – which allow fully vaccinated people to avoid isolating – will be the default for non-red list countries.

Vaccinations that took place in 17 countries including Canada, Australia, Israel and New Zealand will now be regarded as eligible under the rules, joining jabs in UK, the EU, the USA and the European Free Trade Association.

Eight countries – including Turkey, Pakistan and the Maldives – are also being removed from the red list with effect from 4am on Wednesday.

Travellers from Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya will also no longer be required to quarantine in a hotel from that date.


Man charged after disturbance in restaurant leads to hospital death

The 44-year-old was taken to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy after a disturbance at a premises in Inverkeithing.

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A 26-year-old has been arrested and charged in connection with the death.

A man has been charged in connection with the death of a man who was injured in a Fife restaurant.

Police Scotland said officers were called after a 44-year-old man was seriously injured at the premises on Inverkeithing’s High Street on Friday afternoon.

He was taken by ambulance to the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy where he died a short time later.

A 26-year-old man has now been arrested and charged in connection with the death.

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He is due to appear at Dunfermline Sheriff Court on Monday.

Police said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.


Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 musical reopens Edinburgh Playhouse

The show marks a triumphant return to the theatre which has been closed for 547 days.

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Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 the musical has arrived in Scotland – and it’s currently delighting audiences in Edinburgh.

The show, starring Louise Redknapp, marks a triumphant return to the Edinburgh Playhouse – the UK’s largest theatre – which has been closed for 547 days.

Country music superstar Parton produced the show and even makes a cameo appearance

Theatre staff say the first week has been “emotional”, but it’s “exceeded all expectation”.

For one performer, opening night was emotional. Kirsty Shaw grew up around the corner from the playhouse and performing on its stage has been a lifelong dream

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Ms Shaw told STV News: “It was amazing because it was my first time back on stage after 22 months I think.

“It was just surreal because it’s my home, it’s where I grew up and I used to watch all the shows.

“I used to do Stage Experience which was like a summer school thing which was amazing, it’s a bit emotional.

“It’s a bit weird but it’s so good – we’ve got two other cast members from Scotland and you can tell that when we’re here we just have so much pride for this theatre and for Scottish theatre and for what we can do.”

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Despite a few safety measures in place, it does feel like a return to normality.

Pam Aldred, Edinburgh Playhouse: “It’s been emotional. For our theatre and for our industry.

“There were times when we thought ‘surely we’re going to get open at Christmas, no, it’s not Christmas. Might be Easter, no it’s not Easter.

“It just felt draining at times. It was really emotional and a bit of a roller coaster.

“When we all got that call back to say ‘right, we’re going to reopen’, I can’t describe the feeling. It was just incredible.”

The show will tour across Scotland later this year.


Man dies in hospital after being seriously injured at restaurant

The 44-year-old was taken to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy after a disturbance at a premises in Inverkeithing.

SNS Group via SNS Group
A man has been arrested in connection with the incident.

A man has died after being seriously injured at a restaurant.

The 44-year-old was taken to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy after a disturbance at a premises in High Street, Inverkeithing, at about 4.35pm on Friday.

Officers confirmed he died a short time later from his injuries.

A police spokesman said a man has been arrested in connection with the incident and inquiries are ongoing.


Two-year-old girl dies after falling from pony at hunt meeting

The toddler had been riding with members of The Bedale Hunt on land in a village near Northallerton in North Yorkshire.

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North Yorkshire Police confirmed girl died in hospital in early hours of Thursday.

A two-year-old girl has died after falling from a pony during a hunt meeting in North Yorkshire.

The toddler had been riding with members of The Bedale Hunt on land in a village near Northallerton on Wednesday morning when the incident occurred.

North Yorkshire Police confirmed the girl died in hospital in the early hours of Thursday, with event officials saying members were “devastated”.

A Bedale Hunt spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a tragic accident happened on Wednesday, September 15, when a two-year-old girl fell from her pony and subsequently lost her life.

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“As a community we are all completely devastated but are pulling together to support the family involved.

“Our sincere condolences go to all those affected and we urge that everybody respects the family’s privacy during what is a very distressing time.”

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Police are compiling a report on behalf of the coroner following the tragic death of a two-year-old girl who was involved in a horse riding-related incident on land at Kirkby Fleetham, near Northllerton.

“It occurred at around 8am on Wednesday and the girl died at hospital during the early hours of Thursday.

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“The girl’s family are receiving specialist support while enquiries are ongoing into the incident.

“Police request that the family’s privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”


Opening hours for pubs, clubs and restaurants extended during COP26

Glasgow’s Licensing Board has agreed to allow one additional hour from the terminal hour when the climate conference is held.

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Glasgow’s Licensing Board has agreed to allow one additional hour from the terminal hour.

Pubs, clubs and restaurants in Glasgow will be able to stay open for an extra hour during COP26.

Glasgow’s Licensing Board has agreed to allow one additional hour from the terminal hour when the United Nations climate conference is held at the SEC.

The decision applies to venues with a premises licence allowing the sale of alcohol on site — and will run from October 31 to November 12.

Board members made the decision on Friday in private after hearing from a Police Scotland representative.

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A report presented to the board revealed: “The Licensing Board may, if it considers it appropriate to do so in connection with a special event of local or national significance, make a determination extending licensed hours by such period as the board may specify in the determination.”

Around 30,000 delegates from across the world are expected to arrive in Glasgow for the major climate talks, which have been billed as the world’s “last best chance” to avert the worst consequences of the climate crisis by US climate envoy John Kerry.

The Licensing Board report added: “As well as a curated programme of events intended to complement the main COP26 programme, there will be various fringe events across the hospitality and events sector within the city in order to encourage businesses and residents to get involved in the climate change conversation.

“COP26 presents an opportunity for an animated and vibrant ‘COP City’ to promote a successful conference, a successful host nation and a safe and secure event.”

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Denise Hamilton, from the neighbourhoods and sustainability team, recently told a meeting of the city’s local licensing forum that the council hoped the event would “benefit hospitality and licensed trade”.

She said a “difficult balance” between helping “businesses to thrive” and preventing the spread of Covid-19 would need to be found.

“We want Glasgow to benefit from having COP in the city, but we also want to ensure that our businesses and residents are not put at risk.”

By Local Democracy reporter Drew Sandelands


Cooking oil fuels ‘perfect flight’ from London to Glasgow

Aviation chiefs say flight from Heathrow to Glasgow produced 62% fewer emissions than same journey in 2010.

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The plane was taken to the runaway by an electric vehicle.

Recycled cooking oil helped fuel what has been described as the “perfect flight” between London and Scotland.

British Airways (BA) said the 52-minute passenger service from Heathrow to Glasgow Airport was “carbon neutral” due a combination of sustainable fuel, an optimised flightpath, electric vehicles and CO2 offsetting.

Compared to the same journey in 2010, the flight produced 62% fewer emissions, according to British Airways and air traffic controllers at NATS.

Glasgow Airport bosses and BA said the flight was designed to demonstrate progress being made by the aviation industry to cut emissions as world leaders prepare to gather in Glasgow for crunch climate talks at COP26.

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However, environmental campaigners described the idea of a “perfect flight” as “complete fantasy”.

What made it the ‘perfect flight’?

  • Sustainable fuel made from recycled waste cooking oil was mixed with traditional jet fuel to meet industry standards;
  • The plane was an Airbus A320neo, which is said to be the quietest and most efficient aircraft in the BA fleet for short-haul journeys;
  • It has lighter seats and catering trollies, while in-flight manuals and magazines have been replaced by digital downloads, reducing fuel use, BA said;
  • The plane was pushed back at Heathrow using an electric vehicle, while only one of its engines was used to taxi to the runway, halving the amount of power used.
  • Air traffic controllers at NATS directed the plane on its climb and descent, to avoid levelling off and unnecessary fuel burn;
  • Computer systems worked out the best altitude to make the journey more efficient.

The passenger flight left Heathrow at 10.36am on Tuesday morning, before landing in Glasgow at 11.28am.

Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports Ltd, which owns Glasgow Airport, said: “This flight demonstrates the progress the industry has made during the last decade and how we can work collectively to decarbonise aviation.

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“As one of the UK’s largest airport groups, we are committed to achieving net-zero by mid 2030s. This involves decarbonising our own infrastructure, including the roll out of fixed electrical ground power, which is powered using 100% renewable energy sources.”

‘Real progress’

British Airways said the experiment – which involved fuel giant BP and plane manufacturer Airbus – offered a “glimpse into the future” of commercial aviation.

BA chairman Sean Doyle said: “By working together with our industry partners, we’ve delivered a 62% improvement in emissions reductions compared to a decade ago. This marks real progress in our efforts to decarbonise and shows our determination to continue innovating.”

‘Complete fantasy’

Campaign group Aviation Environment Federation reacted with scepticism to the airline and airport’s claims.

Policy director Cait Hewitt said: “The idea that we’re anywhere near a ‘perfect flight’ is a complete fantasy. The planes of today are noisy, polluting and carbon-intensive and the industry doesn’t yet have the technology on hand to solve any of those problems.

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“Turning used cooking oil into aviation fuel might help reduce waste and recycle some carbon, but once it’s burned, it makes just as much CO2 as kerosene.

“And there really isn’t enough chip fat around to power the world’s aviation fleet.”


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