Leithers Don’t Litter launch ‘humorous attack’ over rubbish collections

Leithers Don't Litter. Picture: contributed
Leithers Don't Litter. Picture: contributed
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LITTER campaigners have launched a humorous attack on the council over the ongoing problem of rubbish collection in the Capital.

Leithers Don’t Litter has posted a series of bad jokes on social media to accompany pictures of litter in the street and overflowing bins, with the promise addressed to the council: “We’ll bin our rubbish jokes if you empty this bin.”

Earlier this week the council claimed a fall in complaints about litter during the first week of the Festival was proof that the service had improved.

But Zsuzsa Farrell, co-founder of Leithers Don’t Litter, said: “Residents have given up reporting because although they keep reporting the same problem over and over again for months, nothing changes. It took us 12 months to get a broken food waste bin replaced on Parliament Street.”

The council’s figures show in the first week of the Festival calls about waste and cleansing across the city were down from 806 to 592 compared with last year – a fall of 27 per cent.

In the city centre, the drop was from 117 to 72 – down 38 per cent.

And the council said the fall in Leith was even more dramatic: down from 91 to 40, a drop of 56 per cent.

In a response to the council’s claims, Ms Farrell said: “To report certain things people need to register and the registration process is far too complicated. Residents have told me they have given up reporting for that very reason.

“They have given up reporting because they don’t even get an automated e-mail reply any more – or any kind of follow-up.

“But we’re not giving up because Leith’s motto is ‘Persevere’.”

Leith Green councillor Chas Booth backed the campaigners’ analysis. He said: “The perception of the majority of residents I speak to is that litter is getting worse not better.

“Many people don’t report litter or dog fouling because they feel it does no good. They feel the council doesn’t listen.”

He praised cleansing staff for their hard work. But he said: “I question whether we have enough of them to make sure our streets are kept clean.”

The Leithers’ #rubbishjokes campaign mirrors a drive by the council launched during last year’s Festival which 
saw bad jokes posted on lampposts, litter bins and social media, telling people: “We’ll bin our rubbish jokes if you bin your rubbish.”

Environment convener Lesley Macinnes said: “We have made it clear that whilst performance is improving we still have a lot of work to do.”

ian.swanson@edinburghnews.com