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Better Bins Introduced to Suit Residents' Needs

posted 19 Sep 2009, 03:42 by myEdinburgh Admin
The City of Edinburgh Council is looking at the way household litter is collected in the city centre World Heritage Site and will consult with residents and businesses to find ways to solve the issues of split bin bags and associated litter.

Since 2005 the majority of homes in Edinburgh have individual wheelie bins or use on street container bins to dispose of waste. However, around 10,000 homes in the city centre still use black bin bags. There are some issues associated with this type of collection. Bags rip or can be torn by animals and litter is spread in the street, resulting in a poor image of the city's street cleanliness which potentially damages Edinburgh's reputation as a capital city.

Because of the architectural and historical importance of the World Heritage Site, a delicate balance must be found between protecting the city's heritage and providing efficient and effective waste services to local residents and businesses.

As a short term solution a successful night time collection has been developed in some city centre streets. This has resulted in a reduction in splitting bin bags as they are picked up shortly after they have been presented but does not eradicate the problem completely, therefore a longer term solution needs to be identified.

A report on this subject going to the Transport, Infrastructure and Environment Committee on September 22 looks at better methods of waste collection including proposals that some homes should move away from bin bags to rigid containers, including individual bins and large on-street communal bins. Other methods of waste disposal are also being looked into, such as the underground bins already used in the Grassmarket.

A consultation group, involving Waste Services, Planning, Historic Scotland and Edinburgh World Heritage, has been set up to find the most appropriate solution. The report states that residents and businesses should have a say in how their refuse will be collected in future.

Cllr Robert Aldridge, Environment Leader, said:

"Household waste being put out in black bags has long been a problem in the city centre. It is apparent that there is no single solution to the issues around domestic waste in the World Heritage Site, and each of the options contains a mixture of benefits and challenges.

"We have now reached a point where a better solution must be found to avoid rubbish being strewn across the streets. The rest of the city has had containerised rubbish collections in place for some years with much success and it is now time to look at solutions which bring these benefits to the remainder of residents."

Over the next few months Services for Communities will start a new audit which will look at streets in more detail to see what options are available. These options will then be subject to public consultation.