Letters: Filthy city is sliding back to bad old days of gardyloo

Gulls chew bin bags in search for food
Gulls chew bin bags in search for food
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What is it with Edinburgh and rubbish? How do we get something which is so simple, and for which we as citizens pay council tax, so wrong?

I live in Edinburgh and work in Fife, and the city is filthy compared to the pristine Kingdom over the bridge. Everywhere there are full rubbish bags being pecked at by seagulls – our “rats on wings”.

The other night I was sitting in Parliament Square and outside a cafe there were five burst black rubbish bags being pecked at by seagulls.

I went over to the City Chambers which was awash with blowing paper. All this on our Royal Mile!

God knows what our tourists must think of this. Having travelled extensively in Europe, the USA and Canada, I can only describe the state of Edinburgh as “third world” when it comes to refuse.

Every year you see the bins overflowing in the picturesque Princes Street Gardens. The solution – the bleedin’ obvious – more bins and bin men. With the Festival rapidly approaching, we will descend into the usual cesspit of garbage.

I live near a primary school and during term time fruit drinks and cartons are found in the street. Flytipping is also endemic – discarded sofas, mattresses and fridges.

Hundreds of years ago citizens would shout “gardyloo” before throwing their rubbish into the streets below. It would seem that this tradition is still alive and well in Edinburgh.

Jim Park, Springwell Place, Edinburgh

Survey follows an accepted practice

GORDON Hogg points out the independent survey of residents of West Calder and Harburn was based on a sample of approximately 25 per cent of residents (Letters, June 29).

Sampling residents’ views and extrapolating the results to provide an indication of the views of the population as a whole is accepted practice.

The alternative approach of attempting to survey every single person in the community might be good for those of us in the research and consultation industry but would be hugely expensive and 
impractical.

In this case, the sample size of 350 was chosen to provide an accuracy level of +/- five per cent.

Mr Hogg also suggests that the questions were “a bit selective and weighted in favour of a positive response”. Throughout the questionnaire process, both we and our client went to some lengths to ensure that the questions were put in a fair, objective and non-leading manner.

Interviewing was carried out by independent interviewers employed by ourselves, who had no vested interest in either a positive or negative response to the questions that were put.

Eddy Graham, director, IBP Strategy and Research, Bellshill

Dogged by these climate pundits

I WONDER what the doomsday climate change pundits are making of Doggerland a new Atlantis under the North Sea?

The lost world of Doggerland vanished beneath the rising waters following the last Ice Age, thus separating Britain from the rest of Europe. Doggerland stretched from Aberdeen to Denmark in the north and down to the English Channel, as far as the Channel Islands, to the south.

At that time the weather was a degree or two warmer than today.

Surely the greens cannot blame mankind for those rising sea levels?

Will these scientists also ensure that volcanoes are told to behave themselves and not spew out nasty CO2?

The climate is constantly changing and mankind has adapted in the past and will do so in the future.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

It’s cartoon time for smart Alex

FOLLOWING Alex Salmond’s apparent enthusiasm for the world of animated cartoons (witness his recent flight to Hollywood for the world premiere of the film Brave), perhaps he’d be interested in developing his film world links by capitalising on his facial likeness with the amiable cartoon star Shrek?

Readers may agree that, side by side, facial pictures of the two show quite a likeness. Maybe Mr Salmond could put himself forward for a new Scottish promotional film to be called “Shrek meets Shr-eck”!

Donald Stewart, Corstorphine, Edinburgh