Edinburgh streets ‘cleaner than ever’

Do you think Edinburgh's streets are cleaner? Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Do you think Edinburgh's streets are cleaner? Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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Edinburgh’s streets are the cleanest they’ve ever been according to the latest cleanliness assessment by Keep Scotland Beautiful.

A report to be discussed at the next council Transport and Environment Committee will consider the Cleanliness Index Monitoring (CIM) scheme results in more depth.

A total of 97% of the streets assessed under the scheme in September last year were found to have an acceptable level of cleanliness – the highest result to date.

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The independent assessment, which is carried out for the Council four times a year, grades a selection of streets depending on the presence of litter, graffiti and dog fouling and provides a snapshot of the condition of Edinburgh’s Neighbourhoods during the month.

September’s assessment showed an improvement across the city, with the level of streets deemed of an acceptable standard up 2% and the overall cleanliness index score four points higher than the previous June.

All six of Edinburgh’s Neighbourhoods and all 17 wards received a cleanliness index result of 67 or above, achieving the national standard target, while three out of the six Neighbourhoods and nine out of 17 wards met the Council target of 72. A total of seven wards attained a result of 100% of streets surveyed meeting the acceptable standard of cleanliness – increasing on five wards in June 2013.

Clean Up Edinburgh, a city-wide awareness-raising campaign aimed at tackling the issue of litter, was launched in October 2013 and seeks to change public attitudes, urging individuals and groups to take responsibility for keeping their local community clean.

A day of action was held on 29 November as part of the campaign, which saw volunteers, staff, schools and businesses group together for a series of clean-ups in locations across the capital. Further activities and initiatives are planned to raise awareness as the campaign continues throughout the year.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Transport and Environment Convener, said: “These are encouraging results for the city and demonstrate the dedication of our street cleaning and environmental warden staff who do such a great job keeping Edinburgh clean.

“However we need to keep this up and a change in attitude is essential to achieving this. Initiatives like Clean Up Edinburgh have shown the important role the public play in making the city a better place to live and we hope the campaign will make people think twice before dropping litter.”

Carole Noble, Head of Environmental Services at Keep Scotland Beautiful said: “The City of Edinburgh Council has been at the forefront of implementing best practise in environmental monitoring, allowing Council resources to be focused in the most effective way possible. These results are further encouragement that improvements are being delivered.

“However, there is no room for complacency, and we welcome the Council’s enthusiastic introduction of the Clean Up Edinburgh campaign which will help to further highlight the impact of those who irresponsibly dispose of litter or who allow their dogs to foul our streets and green spaces.”