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LitterLotto rolled out across Glasgow  Picture: Glasgow West End Today
LitterLotto rolled out across GlasgowGlasgow West End Today

Can LitterLotto help clean the streets?

Monthly cash prizes of £100 are up for grabs

A monthly cash prize of £100 is being offered to people in Glasgow who photograph themselves picking up street litter and binning it.

Glasgow City Council is trialling a new app in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB), to encourage more people to develop good habits. 

LitterLotto is already being used by local authorities in other parts of the country. 

People download the app and agree to simple terms allowing access to basic contact information.

Street bins

They then use the app to photograph themselves - just hands will do - placing an item of ‘street litter’ into the mouth of a council street bin.

A council publicity shot shows how it can be done, but the app says only a hand is needed
A council publicity shot shows how it can be done, but the app says only a hand is needed

You send the picture through the app which records the location and whether the litter and image is valid. 

The app says it knows when people are cheating. 

Glasgow litter pickers are entered into a monthly city-wide draw for a £100 prize, but entrants are also entered into a national draw for KSB’s monthly £200 LitterLotto prize and LitterLotto’s weekly £1000 UK-wide prize. 

Anyone aged 18 and over can enter if they bin a piece of litter in the city or submit a photo during an organised litter pick. The winners will be chosen at random by LitterLotto. 

Participants can also collect virtual coins which are hidden in locations around the city and which can be exchanged for prizes within the app.

Councillor Ruairi Kelly, Glasgow Convener for Neighbourhood Services, said: “Glasgow’s LitterLotto is a novel and exciting way to encourage people to bin their litter when out and about in the city. 

“The council spends around £20million each year cleaning up litter dropped on the city streets, so anything we can do to stop people dropping it in the first place is worth trialling. 


The council spends around £20million each year cleaning up litter dropped on the city streets, so anything we can do to stop people dropping it in the first place is worth trialling. 

Councillor Ruairi Kelly


“This LitterLotto pilot is another string in our bow to encourage positive behavioural change and foster good habits.

“We already have around 500 Neighbourhood Improvement Volunteers who regularly do their bit to help tackle litter and a network of over 80 litter picking hubs across the city to enable people to borrow equipment to carry out litter picks in their area.

“LitterLotto is an incentive for more people to dispose of their litter responsibly, helping to keep the city clean and enabling them to be in with a chance of winning prizes.”

People can enter as many times as they like, as long as it’s different litter each time being deposited into a Glasgow City Council street bin. 

Putting rubbish in household waste doesn’t count, according to the council. 

Leaving litter beside or on top of a bin does not qualify, and if a bin is full the council ask you to find another nearby (if you can). 

If a blue recycling street bin is close by, people are asked to use it for anything recyclable.

Photographs are taken using the app
Photographs are taken using the app

David Landsberg, founder of LitterLotto, said: “Myself and the LitterLotto team are delighted to welcome Scotland’s biggest local authority, Glasgow City Council, to partner with us.

“If you had told me when we launched LitterLotto® that in just 18 months we’d have given away hundreds of thousands of pounds in prizes and seen over 10million pieces of litter binned through our app, I would have been blown away.

“It’s thanks to Keep Scotland Beautiful, our fantastic partnering councils and the great work of their residents that we’re achieving such impressive results.”

Barry Fisher, chief executive at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “It’s wonderful to partner with Glasgow City Council and LitterLotto and take another positive step towards tackling the litter emergency. 

“Data from our forthcoming Scottish Litter Survey has shown that the majority of people view litter as a problem both nationally and locally.

'Innovative app'

“Everyone has a role to play as we battle the litter issue and we are determined to find new ways to engage and inspire Scotland’s people to reverse the data trends.

“That is why we are delighted to be working with LitterLotto and Glasgow City Council to bring this innovative app to the city to promote behavioural change in a fun way."

South Ayrshire Council recently joined forces with LitterLotto to encourage behavioural change in their area. 

KSB has been running a Scotland-wide LitterLotto draw for over a year.

Full details of Glasgow’s LitterLotto can be found at www.glasgow.gov.uk/litterlotto

Download the free LitterLotto app from the App store and Google Play to participate and be in with a chance of turning trash into cash.

LitterLotto is being used in other parts of the UK
LitterLotto is being used in other parts of the UK

How it works:

It takes a few minutes to download the app from your phone’s app store. It was a little sticky at first, but we got there. 

The app has plenty of information about how it works. 

The app says: “When you take your pic, your photo needs to have certain content for us to recognise it as a valid entry.

“Please help us to understand what we're looking at by making sure your pic includes these 3 things:

  •   The mouth of the litter bin you're posting into
  •   The product you're binning
  •   Your hand

“The photo should be taken at the very point you're about to let go of the litter.

‘Missing out any of these will mean we may not be able to understand it, which means you won't be able to win any prizes.”

And the app goes on:

“To make sure your entries count, you need to be aware of the rules.

“They're simple enough and it's actually easier to bin litter correctly than it is to cheat - but surprisingly there are still some that want to try it! In short, if you try and cheat, we'll recognise it and none of your entries will count. Putting the same cigarette butt in the bin over and over? We'll know. Thinking of emptying a litter bin and then putting it back bit by bit? We'll know.

“And we know all the other ideas you've got too!

“Please don't use LitterLotto when you dispose of items usually found in the home as household rubbish doesn't count - you can use your home bin to dispose of "on the go" food and drink packaging but not shampoo bottles, loo roll tubes, cling film, pet food cans and other domestic waste, please.”

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