Bins proposal to clean up business waste collection

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A MAJOR shake-up of the way trade waste is collected in the city centre has been proposed in a bid to clean up the Capital.

Under new proposals unveiled today, every business in the city centre would have their rubbish collected by the same selected providers.

At present, businesses set up arrangements on an individual basis and 11 different companies come into the main city centre shopping block to collect from 451 different bins, which can lead to littering in the streets at various times.

Consultants have now been brought in to see if they can get all businesses to sign up to the same suppliers.

It is estimated that some firms could save more than £1000 a year under the proposals, as individual waste collectors would only have to come into the city centre once a week.

The scheme, which will include a full procurement process to sign up waste firms, is proposed by city centre management company Essential Edinburgh. If successful, they could move on to look at bulk contracts for utilities, such as gas and electricity.

Andy Neal, chief executive of Essential Edinburgh, said: “I think this is a really exciting idea because it is a classic win-win situation.

“One of our primary drivers as an organisation is a clean and attractive environment and one of the things that can stop the city centre looking so good is the number of bins lined up.

“We have 11 waste management firms coming in to collect and most of them have all different coloured bins.

“We think that we can reduce that number, saving businesses possibly thousands of pounds.

“It should be a real win-win, with us helping our levy payers to save money, while also making sure that our streets look cleaner and tidier.”

The proposed changes will apply to all businesses in the city centre business improvement district.

Procurement experts have been brought in to carry out the review of existing waste and recycling arrangements.

Mr Neal said: “Realistically, we hope we can get down from 11 suppliers now to five or six. It would be wonderful if we could get down to one or two, but we recognise that there will be specialists.”

Gordon Henderson, development manager for the Federation of Small Businesses in the east of Scotland, said: “Saving money is good and I would imagine they are interested in having an attractive city centre so cutting down on the number of contractors makes sense.”

mblackley@edinburghnews.com