Rubbish bins in Edinburgh are having sensors fitted - so that bin lorry crews know when they are full.

The city has become plagued with litter and complaints to the council have rocketed by a third in a year.

But now, in a bid to stop the rubbish, lorry crews have been given computer tablets to track their routes, while sensors which monitor litter levels have been installed in hundreds of public litter bins.

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And city leaders say their success in using the technology has attracted attention from cities across Europe and the United States.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Edinburgh City Council's environment leader, said: "The sensors are currently in litter bins but if the positive results continue we'd like to see this roll out to communal bins and recycling banks."

As part of a year-long trial, a total of 323 litter bins in the city centre, Leith Walk, Leith Links and Portobello Promenade have been fitted with sensors which tell bin men when they are full.

Ultralasers are able to sense how much litter is in the bin - while inbuilt sensors are able to alert bosses to possible fires.

Officials can monitor when bins need emptying with spikes in data indicating fly-tipping.

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In August, collections in trial areas increased by 24 per cent on average, with some collections doubling or even quadrupling in frequency.

Refuse crews can respond to overflowing bins within the hour and data sent back by the sensors can be used to create more efficient routes for emptying litter bins.

Cllr Hinds said: "The success of the pilot is attracting a lot of attention from other major cities particularly in the US and Washington DC where the authorities have contacted us."

Meanwhile, bin crews have been handed computer tablets as part of a separate, two-week long trial that gives out more accurate information about the location of bins - as well as sending information back to the council about why any were not collected.

Bin men can let bosses know immediately if bins were not put out on the street correctly, or if they were unable to access them.

Andy Crofts, general manager of Enevo UK - the company behind the bin sensor technology - said: "The Edinburgh project team have understood the importance of using accurate data to improve waste services for the city and have fully embraced Enevo smart waste technology during the pilot."

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The two trials are costing £20,000 to implement.

Edinburgh residents have complained about an increase in vermin and the smell coming from the rise in rubbish being left on the streets.

The council received 53,862 complaints about missed or overflowing bin collections between July 2015 and July this year - an average of one every 10 minutes through the day and night.