Leeds student builds DIY bin bag dispenser to help tackle park litter

A Leeds Beckett University student has used his crafting skills to help put a stop to litter being left in local parks.

Jack Colmer, 22, decided to take the issue of litter being left in Hyde Park, in Leeds, into his own hands by building his very own bin bag dispenser which not only holds six bags, but which also has a bottle opener on the side.

The Sport Business Management student said that after he saw images of litter scattered all over the park he became “frustrated” and wanted to create a “simple solution”.

“I thought a simple solution was to provide a bin bag dispenser as I don’t believe people want to litter, most people just forget to bring bin bags with them to the park and it seems easier to leave litter than try and squeeze it in small bags.

“This hopefully will provide a temporary solution and encourage people to leave less litter,” he told Oh My Goodness.

Jack said he built the bin bag dispenser after growing “frustrated” with the litter left in Hyde Park. (Jack Colmer)

The student, originally from Newcastle, said the contraption only took him a couple of hours to make using scrap wood, but that he usually enjoys building and DIY, documenting this on Instagram.

Jack said he chose to add the beer bottle opener as a way to “reach out to students and to meet them on their level and make it more interesting”.

The 22-year-old has stressed that the litter issue is not the fault of all students and that he simply believes “they don’t want to litter”.

To his surprise, support for his creation exploded after he shared a post in a Leeds student Facebook group.

Hundreds of people have since been in touch expressing their admiration for his simple solution to a big problem.

Local cafe Hyde Park Book Club are one of many who wanted to express their thanks to Jack by rewarding him with ‘The People’s Key to the City’ and £100 tab for when the venue reopens.

Co-owner of the venue, Jack Simpson, 41, told Oh My Goodness it was “nice to shine a bit of light” on Jack’s creation after the “negative reaction” to the initial mess in the park.

“I think what Jack has done has really tapped into a need we all have. Everybody is craving [to see] that other people quite often are nice,” he said.

Jack has spoken with Hyde Park Book Club and said it’s “just nice to know my build has been appreciated”.

He is particularly proud of the conversation that it has now sparked in the wider community, with people stepping up and wanting to start a campaign.

The 22-year old student said that while he didn’t expect this much support, he’s happy to see it’s sparked a conversation.

“I think all parks could do with something similar to this and hopefully it’ll decrease the littering.

“I don’t think my build will last long in Hyde Park as I think it’ll be destroyed or stolen but it’s definitely started a conversation within the Leeds community and hopefully the council can get involved and provide a more permanent solution,” he added.

Jack hopes this conversation will form a relationship with the local council, who he has been in touch with, to help eradicate the litter issue.

He says he doesn’t think he will build anymore of the bin dispensers, but for those that may want to do their own, he has suggested building a metallic post with a similar design to his.

“It’s a conversation starter and due to the support it’s received hopefully it’ll go somewhere. I’m eager to chase it up,” he added.

You can follow Jack’s amazing DIY creations on his Instagram page.

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