Letters: Edinburgh’s waste bin system is not working

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Wester Hailes is one of the first areas to ‘benefit’ from Edinburgh council’s new recycling policy.

The red box is now redundant and most of us have an extra wheelie bin. The half-size wheelie bin is for refuse and the old green bin is for recycling.

It isn’t working in Wester Hailes and probably won’t work anywhere else and there is nowhere on the council website to tell them why it doesn’t work.

The council assumes that houses with space for a green wheelie bin and a brown one and three recycling boxes can find space for another wheelie bin. This isn’t always the case and one bin lives on the pavement.

The council assumes that a stair with six flats and a green wheely bin store at the bottom will find space for a grey wheelie bin. They don’t. There are six bins outside each block living on the pavement, getting blown away every time there is a wind.

The council also assumes that residents in a block of eight flats with a bucket chute will walk across the road with full black bags and bags of recycling to a communal bin just because they have welded the chute closed. They don’t.

Not everyone is physically able to carry that much rubbish downstairs; work and time constraints can make people reluctant to go out in all weathers and walk across a road or car park to separate out their rubbish in the communal recycling bins.

Some people just don’t want to do this and the result is black rubbish bags lying about instead of recycling. What I would really like to know is:

1. Did the council actually look at the buildings in Edinburgh before implementing this stupid policy?

2. How much money has been wasted on this at a time when the council is saying it has to make hundreds of staff redundant?

3. When is it going to collect the non-recyclable red boxes that we have all been left with?

D Sinclair, Walkers Wynd, Hailesland, Edinburgh

Confusion over council role at Lothian Buses

I have been following, with increasing concern your reports regarding the management dispute at Lothian Buses and the council’s handling of the matter.

If Lothian Buses was a private company where three senior directors had lodged complaints against the chief executive, which had been investigated by the company’s chair, and the chair then recommended dismissal of the chief executive and apparently obtained majority board approval, it is almost unthinkable that the chief executive would still be in post.

However, in the case of Ian Craig, chief executive of Lothian Buses, a company ultimately owned by the taxpayer, his bacon is being saved by the city’s convener for transport and the environment, Councillor Lesley Hinds, presumably for political reasons.

I have asked Cllr Hinds three times to explain, preferably on a public platform, why she continues to support Mr Craig, and what she hopes to achieve through her and a nameless council official’s attendance at Lothian Buses board meetings.

While I have received three replies, none has answered these queries and I am very concerned that a precedent is being set whereby Lothian Buses will now be open to interference, which would have political objectives, rather than decent public transport and the strength of the company at its heart.

Lothian Buses has operated without direct political interference, been highly successful as a result and has been a source of great pride to the city. The reputations of Ann Faulds and the three directors who lodged complaints against Mr Craig are impeccable and it now appears that the employees of Lothian Buses do not support Cllr Hinds’ position either.

So may I invite Cllr Hinds to explain in detail why, despite apparently well-founded complaints, she remains so determined to keep Mr Craig in post; what exactly she and the council official hope to achieve through their presence as ‘observers’ at board meetings; and how much she intends to meddle in Lothian Buses’ business in future?

Alison Bourne, Groathill Road South, Edinburgh

One rule for Stormont, another for Holyrood

I noticed with considerable interest in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement that Northern Ireland is to be offered control over its corporation tax.

It is indeed intriguing that Stormont is trusted by Mr Osborne to have control over corporation tax but the Smith Commission has deemed that Scotland is not to be afforded the same right.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Dangerous trade deal must be stopped

David Cameron likes to portray himself as defender of British sovereignty in dealings with the EU. But at the same time, he is pushing for a trade deal between the EU and the US which hands our sovereignty over to multinational companies.

This deal would allow big companies to sue governments, including ours, over decisions that might affect their future profits. Similar deals already in operation have led to the Egyptian government being sued for introducing a minimum wage, and the Australian government being sued for deciding cigarettes should be sold in plain packaging.

Our government should be able to make decisions in the interests of the people, without fear of being hit for billions of pounds by a company that doesn’t like the decision.

I’m campaigning with the World Development Movement to stop the EU-US trade deal. It’s a campaign we need to win, for the sake of our democracy.

G Burrows, Muirhouse Place West, Edinburgh