As part of our Autism Friendly Glasgow city centre, we would like to develop a greater knowledge and understanding of autism amongst Glaswegians and city centre businesses/organisations in the hope that this initiative will highlight the additional layer of support available for autistic people and their families.

To assist with this we will be designing a logo to promote the project and essentially become the ‘go to’ sign to highlight Autism Aware venues in the city centre.  You’ll be able to see this logo out and about in the city centre on the windows of participating businesses.

To design the logo, and to encourage the lesson of inclusion, we are asking Glasgow schools; including early years, primary, secondary and ASL units to submit bright and colourful entries that will become instantly recognisable to city centre visitors. The winner will then spend time at GCC Graphics Department and see their concept come to life.

The winning entry will be unveiled as part of a series of events during Autism Awareness Month in April.

Entries will be judged by officers from the City Government, GCC Graphics, Autism Network Scotland and the Autism Resource Centre, representatives from the business community, representatives from the autistic community and GCC City Centre team.

Partner Contributions:

Autism Network Scotland
Autism Resource Centre



Case Study 1: Cath Kidston, Retail store, West Nile Street
The Cath Kidston Glasgow branch is a well-known shop situated on West Nile Street in the city centre which was blighted by dozens of bins, belonging to surrounding businesses, left in front of their shop window 24 hours a day. Since the new commercial waste project there has been a dramatic improvement in the appearance and cleanliness of the street outside their business.

Megan Maguire, sales assistant in Cath Kidston, was regularly dismayed by the appearance of the street having spent a lot of time and effort in the presentation of their front window display, “Before this project, the street was an absolute mess. There were tonnes of overflowing bins, bins that didn’t belong to our business and they stunk. You couldn’t have a customer walk past and stop and have a look in our window as you could barely get past the mess.

Megan is delighted with the results, “The clear up has been fantastic. You can walk down the street now with no smell, no blocked drains anymore and it’s just so much more pleasant when walking past the store

Case Study 2: Merchant City and Trongate Community Council:
The Merchant City and Trongate Community Council is a residents’ forum whose role is to seek and represent the opinions of local people and businesses and to express the wider views of the entire neighbourhood on issues affecting their environment.

Both Garth Street and John Street, in particular, had become a bugbear for residents who were coming home at night to overflowing bins, vermin and litter derived from commercial waste. Merchant City has benefited from a range of public realm work over recent years so the proliferation of big bulky trade waste bins was unwelcome.

Tam Coyle, chair of the community council, is already impressed with the change, “I’m delighted the council has put this initiative in place and it’s back to the way it should be. When we do have the café culture in Glasgow, all these bars and restaurants will benefit, the local residents will benefit and tourists will benefit.”

“Certainly, a few people have mentioned the results already to the community council as they known we’ve been liaising with the council on the issue. I’m absolutely delighted that it’s giving people their streets back.”

Case Study 3: Apex Hotel, Bath Street
The award-winning Apex Hotel had been using Sauchiehall Lane to permanently store their commercial waste containers. Since the start of the new trade waste policy, the Apex Hotel has put in place a variety of measures to not only ensure compliance but see them become a champion in effective trade waste management.

Lindsay Sturrock, General Manager felt the project could be challenging initially. He said, “When we were initially told about the changes, there was definitely going to be benefits to us in that the lane was going to be clear and we were going to see a big improvement in the hygiene. From our point of view, it was quite a lot of work as we had nowhere to put the bins and no space inside the building so we had to be a bit creative in thinking where we could put the bins.”

The Apex also attended one of our waste minimisation workshops, carried out by Zero Waste Scotland, in an effort to look at their waste at source and identify any possible reductions and ultimately savings, “In a lot of places they’re used to just opening up the bin and throwing the waste in so we all had to get used to what goes in the correct bins and that it’s effectively flattened. As we’ve only got limited space, it was a re-training exercise.”

The Apex has since created an internal storage enclosure for storage of commercial waste and already managed to reduce their bin numbers by 2.

Sometimes it’s worth looking at the bigger picture. Certainly, from our point of view, there are no bins on the lane, it’s nice and tidy and there’s no vermin. It’s made a big difference to us.

Case Study 4: Malones, Bar/Restaurant, Sauchiehall Lane

Malones Bar has its main entrance situated on Sauchiehall Lane so large, unsightly bins dumped in city centre lanes were a hindrance to the appearance of their business. There were around 15 large, commercial bins left near Malones front door, spoiling the look and feel of the area.
Our front entrance is Sauchiehall Lane.” says Fergal McMahon, assistant manager of Malones, “So it has always been a priority for us to have the lane as clear as possible.

By working closely with their waste contractor the bar was able to adapt well to the new changes by storing their bins inside and having them collected from within the premises, “A lot of work was involved in planning where we were going to put our bins. We had to speak to our waste contractor and it meant more regular uplifts and staff being shown exactly what was going to be happening.” By doing this, Malones now have a much more flexible approach to their waste management, having them collected out with the presentation windows.

And a cleaner, clearer lane has made an impact already on business, “Immediately you could see people looking down the lane and seeing it was pristine. We’ve noticed already our lunch trade has had a massive increase and every day has been busier than previously.

Case Study 5: Guide Dogs Scotland

Having a clear pathway is crucial for many pedestrians who are blind or partially sighted and who wish to navigate along streets independently. Street clutter, such as bins, can also prevent people with mobility impairments such as wheelchairs and other vulnerable pedestrians from using the pavements with confidence.

Emma Brown of Guide Dogs Scotland welcomes the changes and believes bins along our pavements can cause obstructions which can hamper a person’s progress along a street, “We have loads of guide dog owners that would visit Glasgow from people that live and work here or just visiting. Street clutter is a big problem for someone with sight loss and these bins can block the pavement, especially in a busy city centre with lots of people.”

Knocking into items of street clutter is not only painful but can be a shock to a person who is blind or partially sighted, and could affect that person’s confidence to use these streets and local amenities, “Getting the bins off the streets of Glasgow is a really positive move, it gives people a lot more confidence to walk down the street and less chance of having to go on the road to avoid a bin.”

Read more about the City Centre Commercial Waste Pilot Project here.