• Ayrshire Daily News

Introducing Poppy the Purple Bin

Leah McMahon from Mayfield Primary has won a competition which will see her design for a new bin mascot ‘come to life’. 

Leah’s design for a new purple bin character was entered as part of a competition which ran over the summer through the Council’s acclaimed holiday school meals programme. 

The initiative invited young people to help come up with the design and name for a new purple bin mascot which will be introduced as part of the Council’s plans for enhanced recycling service beginning in April 2019.

Almost 100 colourful entries were submitted by youngsters.  These were whittled down to a top six and the tough task of selecting a winner was left to Provost Ian Clarkson and Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Place.

Leah’s winning design, named ‘Poppy’, features a number hearts to demonstrate that she loves to recycle. Poppy will now come to life in the form of a life-sized mascot and join the three other bin characters – Bella the Blue Bin, Gary the Grey Bin and Bonnie the Brown Bin – in helping to promote waste and recycling to a younger audience.

Provost Clarkson said:

“We were delighted with the response to our competition and Leah was the rightful winner.  Her design was superb and fitted the brief perfectly as it was colourful and fun.  Our bin characters are used to engage with young people in an informal and exciting way while educating them on how to recycle more and dispose of waste correctly which, in turn, allows them to do their bit for the local environment.

“We look forward to seeing Leah’s design transform into a life-sized mascot which will tour our communities on the lead up to the introduction of our purple bin next April.”

The new purple bin will be introduced next April as part of the Council’s plans for an enhanced recycling and waste collection service for those living on the mainland and Cumbrae.

Once introduced, the purple bin will be used to dispose of glass, cans and plastics.  This will free up space in the blue bin which will instead solely be used for paper and cardboard.  This new purple bin, along with the blue and grey bins, will be collected as part of a three-weekly cycle which will see one of the bins collected each week. The brown food and garden waste bin will continue to be collected fortnightly.

These changes form part of the Council’s ‘Zero Waste Strategy’ which aims to increase recycling to over 60% by 2020 to meet Scottish Government targets – this target will increase even further to 70% by 2025.

In North Ayrshire, currently 55.3% of waste is recycled, but studies have shown that around 71% of the rubbish in the average grey bin could be recycled or composted, but is instead sent to landfill – showing there’s significant room for improvement.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Place, said:

“We recognise that in order for our plans for an enhanced waste and recycling service to be successful, we must engage with a wide variety of residents - not just home owners.

“Our young people are incredibly savvy and we know from experience that they are often the ones who keep their parents/carers right when it comes to putting the right stuff in the right bin at home.

“Therefore it’s absolutely vital we bring them on board with this project and allow them to become our recycling champions ahead of the changes next April.

“After all, it’s not just about recycling – it’s about recycling right!”

For more information on the bin collection changes and how they will affect you, visit the Council’s website at: www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk/binchanges2019