Disbelief at council claims that bins back on track

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RESIDENTS and opposition leaders have expressed disbelief after council bosses today claimed bin collections in the Capital are back on track.

City environment chiefs said “significant steps forward” had been made in Edinburgh’s bins crisis over the last few days and that rounds were generally being completed on schedule.

They admitted bins on some routes would still be missed as waste workers continue to familiarise themselves with changes brought in when collections shifted to a fortnightly rota last month.

The claim has sparked frustration and scepticism, with some residents saying it was too early to conclude the worst of the city’s rubbish collection problems are over.

Frank Laurie, 46, said waste collection in the city seemed to be in “disarray” following the arrival of bin men who turned up at his Murrayfield home only a day after colleagues removed rubbish that he and other residents had been complaining about for weeks. He said: “I’m not expecting miracles to be honest but I hope for all our sakes that what the council are saying is true.

“A total lack of respect was shown [by the council] when they left people to live with what we’ve lived with for that amount of time. I don’t have a great deal of faith in them.”

Dalry Colonies resident Maria Kelly said: “When I report a problem the council are very good at collecting waste but I’m assuming that’s because I’m telling them, not because they realise they’ve missed it.

“I phoned this morning to complain that they had missed a food waste collection yesterday and I’ve experienced problems every week since the collection changes were brought in. I think they should give it a couple more weeks before claiming the collections are on schedule.”

Councillor Chas Booth, Green member for Leith, said: “The jury is out as to whether the council have got a grip on this.

“I still have a number of very angry constituents. We should now be in the position where everyone’s bin is being collected on schedule.

“I know for a fact that the bins in my own street were not collected yesterday and then last week there was no food waste collection. The council needs to do a lot better.”

Environment leader Lesley Hinds hailed a situation she said was “continually ­improving”.

She said: “Generally crews are completing their rounds on schedule. However, there are still a small number of issues with missed collections and we know that this can be inconvenient and frustrating for householders.

“Where there are specific problems we are addressing them as quickly as possible and I do thank residents for their continued patience. There will be an update to the next Transport and Environment Committee that will look at what lessons can be learned.”

Bottle banks overflowing

AN overflowing glass recycling bank in the Capital has sparked anger and calls for better communication between the council and contractor Viridor.

The pile-up of bottles at the bank in East Fettes Avenue came after Viridor failed to make a scheduled pick-up on October 9 because of a technical issue with one of its vehicles.

Councillor Iain Whyte, Conservative member for Inverleith, described the sight of rows of glass bottles next to the banks as “shocking” and said: “You would have thought a company like Viridor would make sure that if there was a problem with a vehicle, a replacement would have been brought in to do the work. If they weren’t able to do the job, they should have let the council know so that other steps could be taken.”

A council spokeswoman said yesterday: “We have raised this issue with Viridor, who will be emptying the banks today.”