Category: Last News

City Council praises pupils’ bright ideas in support of Clean Glasgow

PUPILS from two Glasgow high schools have presented council bosses with a series of radical proposals that they believe will help win the city’s war on litter.

The following article is taken from Glasgow City Council’s website :


The young people, from Eastbank Academy in Shettleston and Knightswood Secondary School in the West End, were challenged to come up with solutions for beating ‘grime crime’ as part of the council’s £4m Clean Glasgow campaign.

Led by city charity Space Unlimited, which has co-ordinated youth projects for oil giants BP and the BBC, the task centred on the question ‘what would encourage young people to use litter bins?’

And yesterday (Wednesday, June 13), the culmination of three months work was showcased to council chiefs, teachers and youth group representatives at The Bridge community centre in Easterhouse.

Among the ‘first class’ answers were:
• Hi-tech bins fitted with CCTV and loudspeakers. These would record images of pupils dropping litter within a certain radius and produce an automated ‘pick up your rubbish’ voice response. Useful for naming and shaming culprits.
• A litter account, whereby pupils are rewarded for the volume of rubbish deposited throughout the school term.
• A recycling bin capable of filtering aluminium and plastics from everyday litter.
• Fines for repeat offenders.

The ideas and designs which the 27 S3 pupils came up with will now be explored by council chiefs with the aim of producing a viable pilot model.

Clean Glasgow project manager, Jane Harrison, was delighted with the pupils’ presentations. She said: “Glasgow City Council commissioned this project because our young people are a valuable source of untapped talent. They offer fresh insights, a creative approach and a direct connection to their communities.

“This was a hugely positive experience for everyone involved and the quality of the ideas and designs that it uncovered were first class. We are very interested in a couple of ideas in particular and I will be asking my team to look at how we can pilot them.”

The pupils, all aged 13 or 14, were given 12 weeks to come up with solutions to the question.

Other ideas included a ‘points bin’, which would allow pupils to earn prizes through continually using school litter bins. This would be similar to the ‘Fuel Zone’ points system operating in schools across Glasgow, which rewards young people for eating healthily and good behaviour.

Ruth Anderson (14), from Eastbank Academy, took part in the project and found it a highly worthwhile experience. She said: “Young people are often labelled the cause of Glasgow’s litter problem, but our project shows that we are willing to play our part and can contribute creative solutions.

“Hopefully this will encourage the pupils at both Eastbank and Knightswood secondary schools, and others across Glasgow, to support the Clean Glasgow campaign and prove their value as responsible members of their communities.”

Those views were echoed by Laura Keen (13) from Knightswood Secondary School. She said: “I really enjoyed working on the project. It gave us the freedom to express our own ideas and provided the opportunity to make new friends. If our efforts go even just a little way to changing the attitude of Glasgow’s young people towards littering then it will have been worth the hard work.”

Space Unlimited exists to promote new thinking in business. Through their projects organisations from the public and private sector commission groups of young people to solve a ‘real’ business or community problem, which in turn fosters confidence and creativity in those taking part.

Project manager Kevin Lelland said: “Grime crime encompasses a number of issues, but we chose litter as that is the foundation for the Clean Glasgow message.

“At its simplest level, the project was aimed at better educating young people on the importance of keeping our city clean and encouraging them to use litter bins instead of dropping it.

“However, it was also about making the challenge ‘real’ and developing soft skills that today’s younger generation will be able to use in workplaces of the future, such as team working, public speaking and problem solving.”

Clean Glasgow aims to instil pride in city residents and punish people who break the law by littering, fly-tipping, spraying graffiti and allowing their dogs to foul streets and parks – anti-social acts that cost the City Council £16m every year to clean up.

Streets-UK engages Space Unlimited on Tesco project

Community consultation experts Streets-UK contracted Space Unlimited to run a youth consultation project on behalf of Tesco in Linwood …

The project saw pupils from Linwood High and St Benedict’s High working in teams to answer the question “how can we help Tesco to build a fantastic Linwood?” The pupils explored three topics; Open Spaces, Roads and Traffic and the Town Centre, working with Space Unlimited project coaches to develop their own thoughts and presenting back their ideas to Tesco, the local community council and various other interested parties involved with the regeneration of Linwood.

Further information about the project can be found on the Love Linwood website:

Space Unlimited success

Success magazine writes “let the children speak” in a profile piece on Space Unlimited.

Social enterprise website Senscot also profiled the article it in its’ excellent weekly bulletin:

Space Unlimited is a pioneering initiative that allows young people to work on real problems and dilemmas that are facing both public and private sector companies. Amongst companies who have used their services are BBC Scotland, Stagecoach, GE Plastics and the Fire Service. For more info‚ see