Birds of the Belly Bins Exhibition

We are delighted to host this Birds of the Belly Bin art exhibition.

This exhibition celebrates the talents of six local artists who contributed their time to the Big Belly Bin project. The colourful Big Belly Bins, sited along North Berwick’s seafront, feature the artists’ paintings of the birds who frequent the shoreline.

This exhibiton is based just by our Boat Office and there is no charge for entry, however donations would be very welcome.


Overflowing bins along popular seafront spots, especially during busy summer months, has long been a challenge. Despite the best efforts of the hard-working East Lothian Council team, who in busy months emptied the bins up to three times a day, rubbish continued to spill out. Gulls were feasting on left-over food and windy weather carried debris out onto the streets and into the sea.

Concerned by the impact on the local environment, Sustaining North Berwick set out to look for a solution. They brought together East Lothian Council, Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick Community Council and North Berwick Coastal Area Partnership representatives, North Berwick In Bloom, Caledonian Horticulture and others - hosted and fuelled by Steampunk Coffee.

Big Belly Bins hold ten times the amount the amount of rubbish of conventional bins and the efficient technology means gulls are unable to get inside them and pull waste out. Sustaining North Berwick raised the funds for the bins and they will be emptied and maintained by East Lothian Council.

These huge, covered bins should help keep our beaches and water free from flying rubbish.

To enhance the attraction and entice use of the bins they are decorated with artists’ drawings of the glorious seabirds that grace our shores. Seabirds were chosen to highlight the need to protect our seaside environment and fragile habit of the birds. The wonderful artists taking part in this project are: Helen Wylie, Julia Zeller-Jacques, Lorriane Thomson, Rachel Marshall, Steven Butcher and Susan Cameron.

A QR code is displayed on each bin which will take you to more information on each of the birds as well as what happens to the rubbish after it is collected and how the Waste Services Team can capture more valuable recycling when people dispose of their litter responsibly.

In addition to the artwork, take a look at the display in this exhibition on what happens to your domestic and street bin rubbish across East Lothian – you might be surprised!

Big Belly Bin Project

The Big Belly Bin project is a collaboration between Sustaining North Berwick, Scottish Seabird Centre, East Lothian Council and the wonderful talent and skills of local artists, with generous funding from: North Berwick Trust, Coastal Area Partnership, North Berwick Community Council, St Andrew Blackadder Congregation, Stella Moffat Trust and North Berwick Rotary.

Scottish Seabird Centre is a Keep Scotland Beautiful Community Clean-Up Hub. Borrow a beach clean kit from the Centre if you’re keen to do more for nature when you visit North Berwick.

Fulmar artwork
Susan Cameron

Puffin artwork
Rachel Marshall