Fury as 100 bags pile up to create nauseating stink

Jennifer Evans and Vic Fletcher in the Pipe Street store

Jennifer Evans and Vic Fletcher in the Pipe Street store

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A PILE of almost 100 rotting bags has been left in a bin store after refuse crews failed to collect the rubbish for six weeks.

Residents of the block in Portobello said the stench from more than 90 refuse sacks was “eye-watering” and was causing them to feel ­nauseous.

But despite daily complaints to city environment officials, the bins went uncollected and the eight-apartment building on Pipe Street was again missed out when uplifts were carried out at about 7am yesterday morning.

It came as city environment leader Lesley Hinds said yesterday that crews were finally getting on top of the huge backlog after the switch to fortnightly collections.

Jennifer Evans, a retired care home owner who lives on the ground floor, said she and her neighbours had phoned Edinburgh City Council every day but were repeatedly passed between call centre staff and managers to no avail.

The 66-year-old said: “We have phoned literally every day but all we get is a reference number which means nothing. We realise there have been problems but when the collection came around this morning they did every street but ours.

“We have been here for ten years and it’s never been a problem before. The bin men have always been great so it must be their new routes. There are dozens of bags piled up and the stench is ­unbearable.”

Vic Fletcher, 75, a retired gas worker, added: “It goes straight through the building and smells terrible, like rotting fruit and there’s flies and everything.”

After the Evening News contacted the council it said it would immediately uplift the waste and issued an apology.

The council admitted it had received a number of complaints from the residents, but denied the claim that they had been called daily for six weeks.

Lesley Hinds, the city’s environment leader, added: “These bins will be serviced today and we are investigating the circumstances around the missed collection.

“While things seem to be settling down generally, missed collections are still an issue and we acknowledge how frustrating this can be for residents, especially if they have reported the matter on more than one occasion. This type of issue will be one of the main areas examined in the forthcoming review due to come before the transport environment committee next month.”

rory.reynolds@edinburghnews.com