Neat Streets of Grassmarket Edinburgh

Neat Streets was Keep Scotland Beautiful's innovative anti-littering campaign, based in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh, and which ran through 2016. The purpose of the campaign was to decrease litter using a variety of methods, from promoting civic pride in the Grassmarket to offering easier and interesting ways for people to responsibly dispose of their rubbish.

The campaign was made up of a series of interventions, each aimed at changing behaviour in a different way.

Neat Streets was a result of a collaboration between us, Hubbub (a charity which explores innovative ways to interest consumers in important sustainability issues), The City of Edinburgh Council, local residents and shopkeepers from the Greater Grassmarket Business Improvement District (BID) area.

Neat Streets was grounded in our previous ‘nudge’ research, inlcuding the No Butts On Rose Street campaign. All interventions were supported with a full monitoring and evaluation schedule to assess their effectiveness.

Phase one was about increasing civic pride and ran in May and June 2016. The phase was underpinned by the ‘My Street Is Your Street’ gallery, a collection of posters featuring local people encouraging neighbours and visitors alike to take pride in the Grassmarket area.

Phase two of the campaign looked to increase the visibility and accessibility of the bins and began in June 2016. The intervention included litter counts and bin sensor information (to see how frequently the bins were emptied) to test whether more eye catching bins decrease the amount of litter dropped.

The bin designs tested included cigarette litter ballot bins, concertina ashtrays and colourful bin wraps.

Phase three of the campaign targeted those in the Grassmarket during the evenings, along with Edinburgh Festival related litter. This intervention ran in July and August 2016.

The first part of this intervention involved fancy dress bin men encouraging night-time visitors to dispose of their litter correctly in exchange for treats. Our Trashconverter hangmen were a great hit with night-time Grassmarket revellers, dolling out lollipops in exchange for litter

During the Edinburgh Festival season (5-29 August), our specially created leaflet litter bin encouraged festival-goers to dispose of leaflets and flyers responsibly. There were prizes to be won, to help spread the message on social media, as well as support local business. 

If you would like further information about the Neat Streets campaign, please email KSB at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.