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Monitoring litter and flytipping

An overview the monitoring of litter and flytipping for members of the public.

Introducing monitoring

Effective information gathering and analysis helps us to understand which measures work most effectively in litter and flytipping prevention. This information and data provides the detail required to prioritise and develop targeted interventions accordingly.

Better or enhanced data is a key area of work which will help us to understand the true nature and scale of litter and flytipping in Scotland. It will also help to monitor where and why improvements are being seen or where areas are deteriorating and prompt action.

Current monitoring programmes

FlyMapper is a tool developed for land managers to monitor flytipping levels in their areas, it provides information on waste types, quantities and the geographic location to allow them to target materials and resources to specific areas. Link to FlyMapper

The Local Environmental Audit and Management System (LEAMS) is currently used to monitor litter, it provides a snapshot of cleanliness grades in a local authority area. 

Things you can do to help

  • Report litter and flytipping hotspots to your Local Authority
  • If you carry out an intervention in your local community you could monitor the area before, during and after your activity to see if it had an impact on the area. You could do this by:
    • Creating a photo/video story of the area before, during and after your activity
      • Select a number of points to take photographs from to ensure you can capture the level of littering
      • Make sure you use the same photo points each time you monitor the area
      • Take photos of the area once per week, preferably on the same day and time
      • After your intervention take photos over a number of weeks to monitor how long it takes for an area to deteriorate
      • Make sure your photos have a time stamp to allow you to track them
      • You can use the photo story as part of your ongoing engagement within your community
    • Carry out a litter count of the number of items of litter in your area
    • Get feedback from your local community before and after
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