Neat Streets

Hubbub, Ellipsis Earth, McDonald's and Barley Communications

Hubbub and Ellipsis Earth delivered an anti-littering campaign from March to August 2021 in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP), funded by McDonald’s and supported by Barley Communications. Ellipsis conducted the most scientifically robust litter survey ever in the UK using drone technology and AI.

This data was used to develop litter-busting interventions in BCP’s beaches, parks, and urban spaces. Hubbub installed over 40 attention-grabbing interventions to engage different target audiences and change a variety of littering behavioural trends. Detailed data analysis informed changes to current cleaning schedules, by both the council and McDonald’s, which used insights on litter patterns of its products to change staff litter-picking routes and schedules near to its stores.

The results of three ground breaking surveys were used to grab the target audiences’ attention on social media, and local and national media.

On average, there was an outstanding 75% reduction in litter where data-driven interventions were placed, with some individual locations achieving phenomenal reductions of nearly 90%.

A replicable template for future projects in other locations now exists, with a firm commitment from Glasgow City Council to follow suit. Barley achieved 82 coverage items with opportunities to see/hear of over 158 million.

The pilot was so successful that it is now considered a blueprint by other councils, including Glasgow City Council, for optimising their approach to waste management and combatting littering. The survey results are being used to urge UK councils to transform the way they engage with the public by using positive and playful communication.