A TRIAL of solar powered smart bins has been a "huge success" and could soon be rolled out across the Kingdom.

The new receptacles run on daylight and compact the litter as it is deposited, which means it can hold six times more and doesn't need to be collected as often.

The pilot scheme began in August and Fife Council hope it will save time, cut costs and reduce carbon emissions after reporting "phenomenal results".

Asked for an update, John Rodigan, head of environment and building services, said: "The solar bins have been a huge success.

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"It's early days but we're seeing phenomenal results there.

Dunfermline Press:

"We'll come back with a report as there's an investment required if we're going to use these bins going forward, particularly in areas of high footfall in town centres.

"So we need a business case for that but we think there's a strong case for doing more of it.

"I think it can compact up to six times more waste than you would get in the same space so there's an economic benefit as well as an environmental benefit.

"So we'll come back with more details but it's looking really good at the moment."

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The council started a six month £18,000 trial of the solar bins in August in St Andrews.

Sensors in each bin constantly report on the quantity of waste inside them, informing the council’s environmental services team how often they are being used and when the best time is to empty them.

They also feature foot pedals, making them better for hand hygiene, and are enclosed, so waste is contained and can’t escape when full, keeping wind-blown litter off the streets and discouraging seagulls from foraging inside for scraps.

Sandy Anderson, the council's waste operations service manager, explained: “The smart bins don’t need to be emptied as often, which is not only great for the area’s carbon footprint but also represents considerable fuel savings too with the added benefit that the time saved helps to enable staff to focus on other duties and enhancement work."

Fife Council are also trialling a bin that is pizza box shaped at the opening for empty boxes, in the hope of replicating successful trials elsewhere in the UK.