New AI Technology Deployed to Combat Littering in Leicestershire

A groundbreaking new initiative has been launched in Warwick Way, Loughborough to tackle the persistent problem of littering using advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The Charnwood Borough Council has installed a cutting-edge camera system, known as LitterCam, to catch individuals who discard waste from their vehicles onto the streets.

Unlike traditional methods of enforcement, LitterCam utilizes innovative AI algorithms to automatically detect and identify various forms of litter, ranging from cigarette ends and coffee cups to drinks cans and food packaging. The camera captures the act of littering, after which an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) camera records the vehicle’s license plate.

Council officers then verify the recorded footage before forwarding it to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA). The registered owner’s details are shared with the council, enabling them to issue fines by mail. To ensure transparency, an online portal has been established, allowing offenders to view the evidence supporting their fine.

The introduction of this advanced technology aligns with the legislation enacted in 2018, holding registered vehicle owners accountable for littering offenses. Individuals caught littering from their vehicles can face fines of up to £150 ($205). The 12-week pilot program will closely monitor the effectiveness of LitterCam and may be relocated to different areas within the town based on its impact.

Councillor Liz Blackshaw, the lead member for communities and neighborhoods, expressed her strong stance against littering, emphasizing its negative consequences on aesthetics and the environment. She sees LitterCam as an opportunity to discourage littering, urging people to think twice before discarding waste irresponsibly.

With an increasing focus on environmental preservation, the adoption of innovative solutions like LitterCam demonstrates the council’s commitment to creating cleaner, more sustainable communities. If successful, this trial could pave the way for the wider implementation of AI technology in combating littering across the country.


What is LitterCam?

LitterCam is an advanced camera system that employs artificial intelligence to automatically identify and capture instances of littering.

How does LitterCam work?

LitterCam utilizes AI algorithms to detect various forms of litter thrown from vehicles onto the streets. An automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) camera records the vehicle’s license plate, and the recorded footage is then verified by council officers before being forwarded to the DVLA.

What happens to offenders caught littering?

The registered owner’s details are obtained from the DVLA, allowing the council to issue fines through the mail. Offenders can review the evidence supporting their fine through an online portal.

What are the potential fines for littering?

Individuals caught littering from their vehicles can face fines of up to £150 ($205).

How long will the pilot program last?

The pilot program is set to run for 12 weeks in Warwick Way, Loughborough. The council will then review its effectiveness before considering its relocation to other areas in the town.