Scanning QR codes on bins could win recyclers prizes

Recycling bin The codes will be stuck to bins in Oxford Street, Regent Street and outside some Tube stations

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Gift vouchers for High Street shops and West End theatres are being used to encourage recycling in central London.

The scheme gives people the chance to win vouchers by scanning QR (quick response) codes fixed to bins with their smart phones or tablets.

They are being placed on 600 bins in Camden and Westminster where the councils hope to eliminate 25,000 tonnes of litter and save £1 million.

The total value of prizes available is £2,460.

Anyone who scans one of the codes will be entered into a daily prize draw with the chance to a voucher worth £20.

'Win-win'

The pilot project's projected savings come from reducing waste disposal fees and increasing profits from recycling.

Westminster Council said more than 70% of street litter could easily be recycled if people put it in the correct bins.

Councillor Ed Argar, cabinet member for city management and transport, said: "It is the right thing to do environmentally and it makes financial sense - in short, a win-win for everyone."

The QR code stickers will be stuck to bins in Oxford Street, Regent Street and Camden High Street as well as outside some Tube stations.

The organisers hope the initiative will draw people's attention to the recycling message and facilities, but admit there is nothing to stop people scanning and not recycling.

The scheme costs £30,000 which has been paid for with a grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

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