Lews Castle litter woes as bins to be removed from grounds

© GettyLews Castle, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides
Lews Castle, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides

Litter bins are to be removed from the hugely popular Lews Castle Grounds in Stornoway – in a bid to encourage people to take their rubbish home with them.

Dog waste bins will also be taken away from the forested public park, said the Stornoway Trust.

The idea has provoked an outcry with many locals claiming it will aggravate the litter problem and create an “eyesore.”

The Stornoway Trust said “plenty other parks worldwide have adopted this policy with great success.”

Haddo Country Park in Aberdeenshire and two carparks at Snowdonia recently went bin-free, it said.

Stornoway Trust spokeswoman Catriona Murray said: “As a much loved public amenity, the castle grounds is an area in which residents of the Stornoway estate and beyond, feel some justifiable pride.

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“Consequently, trustees expressed confidence that the decision to designate the grounds as a litter-free area would receive strong public support.

“This was supported by the belief that the time currently spent by trust employees on emptying bins could be better deployed on working to enhance and nurture the asset that the castle grounds represent to the entire community.”

Mrs Murray pointed out that bins for litter or dog waste are not provided at other island beauty spots and “responsible” people “bag it, and we take it home with us”.

She added: “The existing provision of bins has not prevented littering, but it has taken up time (and cost a lot in landfill) that would be better spent on taking care of the grounds we all love.

“Our plan is to work with users of the grounds who do behave responsibly in order to encourage others to do the same.”

Many people took to social media to criticise the proposal.

An islander said: “That’s a really stupid and short-sighted decision. You don’t discourage littering by removing all the bins.

One dog owner maintained the “ridiculous” decision“ will only encourage litter.

“Carrying bags of dog poo for an hour or more is not a good thing. The bags get smelly very quickly. I always look out for the nearest bin to dispose of it. It is not at all hygienic to carry dog waste.”

Another person stated: “Standard litter you can maybe shove in a pocket but expecting people to carry bags of dog poo for maybe an hour or more, when they may have small children to watch as well. Just not feasible.”