A new solar-powered smart bin is being trialled in North Devon in a bid to reduce littering in the district.

The bin, which can take up to seven times more rubbish than a standard bin, is in place in Barnstaple High Street.

Waste in the bin gets crushed and compacted several times a day, and the solar energy is collected so it will still work without direct sunlight.

The bins are sealed to stop birds and vermin getting in and can be opened using a foot pedal or a handle.

It will be trialled in other locations in North Devon during the six week trial. More will be rolled out across the district if it proves successful.

North Devon Council's lead member for environment, Councillor Netti Pearson said: "This trial is at a fairly low level with just one bin at present, but we will be monitoring its progress to see what difference it makes.

"We will place the bin in busy areas, and position it in tourist hotspots over Easter, to see how well it works.

"Smart bins bring many benefits, such as lower carbon emissions as they need to be emptied less often, so refuse collection trucks make fewer journeys.

"The advantages are clear - they cut down on littering, save time and money on collections, deter vermin and best of all they use renewable solar energy."

Barnstaple ward member Councillor Robbie Mack added: "Barnstaple High Street gets a lot of traffic - and therefore a lot of rubbish.

"Currently, the bins here are emptied daily. A bin like this should mean less risk of overflowing and littering in the High Street, and we all want to see less litter. I'll be interested to see the results of the trial."