Litter and Dog Poo Films

25 Nov

I’ve been commissioned to make a series of films about litter and dog poo for Greener Leith.

UPDATE: Click on the headlines below to read about this project in the news.

Leith has a litter and dog poo problem but these films don’t focus on the problem. Behaviour change research shows rewarding people for good behaviour is more effective than fining people for bad so we’re celebrating the positive here in Leith and focusing on the solution.

Watch the local Environmental Wardens present prizes to people who pick up after their dogs and put litter in the bin below. Find out more about the making of after that.

Love Leith 1: Dog owners rewarded for picking up poo on Leith Links (watch it on youtube here):

Love Leith 2: Janet wins a cream tea in the Kirkgate for binning her litter (watch it on youtube here)

Love Leith 3 (Mary picks up after aero the dog and gets a rewardwatch it on youtube here)

Love Leith 4: Shore smoker gets a reward from Mimis for binning litter (watch it on youtube here)

Love Leith Extra: Megan from Little Remis cafe sings praises of pocket ashtrays (watch it on youtube here)


The idea for the project came from Greener Leith’s Ally Tibbitt, his idea was to reward good behaviour with prizes from local businesses. The idea was so good it won funding from L£ith Decides.

After we secured the funding I approached local businesses to ask them to donate prizes. Mimi’s Bakehouse, A1 Pets and the Haven Cafe were all delighted to take part. We already had tickets coming from the Royal Yatch Britania thanks to Ally so I just needed to pick those up.


I filmed quick thank you clips with each of the local businesses while I was collecting prizes. I also bought some sparkly envelopes to put the prizes in too, to make it like the oscars.



I spent an afternoon filming with local Environmental Wardens Paul and Kevin. We met up and headed to the litter and dog poo hot spots of Leith. We needed to catch the action when it happened.

We had a problem, what if the dogs we saw just didn’t poo on camera? We kept seeing guide dogs and unfortunately for us guide dog owners don’t have to pick up.

Suddenly I saw a dog squatting in the distance. When the owner went towards it to pick it up I sprinted across Leith links with my camera shouting triumphantly “he’s picking it up!”. That’s him in the first video above. After that they just kept on pooing.

I had some disguises for the wardens to wear and some christmas gear for the Christmas special (see love leith 4 above).


I loved editing the films – especially timing it so a dog’s mouth opened in time with the woofs in the music composed by Sam Gallagher. The Warden’s had a good senses of humour, it really was a pleasure to work with them.


Since that first afternoon the Wardens have given out a prize every day and they’ve been sending me highly entertaining emails documenting people’s reactions when they’re given a prize.

I’m delighted to be part of this innovative project. You can read more about it on the Greener Leith website here.


Posted by on November 25, 2012 in Environment, Film, Media


Tags: , , , ,

11 responses to “Litter and Dog Poo Films

  1. Kenny Taylor

    November 26, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Great film, Emily, with a real undercurrent of mystery. Are those squirrels just innocent bystanders, or do they have another, hidden purpose?

    • auntyemily

      November 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Thanks Kenny! Squirrels always have a secret agenda…

  2. mwheelaghan

    November 26, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Brilliant! I love the music/dog barking, the squirrels, Paul and Kevin and the film. Great fun and very positive. I had a dog for fifteen years so know what’s involved in picking up poop, ie: very little, so it surprises and angers me when people don’t do it. In the grand scheme of things, of course, what’s bit of dog poo? But in the small scheme of things, cleaning up our dog’s pooh is important because it’s about caring for the community we live in and being respectful to our neighbours. Rewarding people for scooping is a great idea. I really hope it works.

    • auntyemily

      December 3, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      Thanks Marianne! I heartily agree with your sentiments too (:

  3. fipea

    November 28, 2012 at 3:10 am

    Nice work Em and Sam!

  4. Mr j a rider

    December 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    A delightful short film expressing the problems caused by dog owners failing to pick up their dogs poo.

    • auntyemily

      December 3, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      Thank you. Is this Uncle John?


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