RESIDENTS protesting against the mismanagement of bin collections have threatened to dump piles of rubbish outside the council’s headquarters if their demands are not met.
A morning of action yesterday saw dozens of rubbish bags and overflowing wheelie bins dumped at the city council’s North Edinburgh office at West Pilton Gardens.
The protest was organised by Tenants and Residents in Pilton (Trip) and Tenants and Residents in Muirhouse (Trim).
Over the past two months, the council has faced a huge backlog of bin collections and a demand for recycling boxes after its switch to fortnightly collections.
Jon Black, of Trip, said: “People are angry. If the issue is not solved to our satisfaction then we will be dumping rubbish at the City Chambers.
“There’s lots of overflowing bins and rubbish about, a lot people in this area do not even have recycling bins.
“We want the council to start providing adequate recycling facilities for everyone and to pick up the rubbish when they are supposed to.
“Everything has been done the wrong way round – the council should have waited until people are ready to recycle before taking collections away.
“It’s causing a health problem – you don’t normally see rats in the area and now people are reporting having seen them in the streets.”
Mr Black said the protest had been attended by more than 30 people. He said: “Afterwards we took the bags away in a hired skip because people in Pilton do, in fact, care about the environment.”
The protesters – who said the blame lies “squarely at the council” and not with refuse collectors workers – plan to have a public meeting next month as part of their continuing campaign.
The local authority claimed there had been no reports of repeated missed collections in Pilton or Muirhouse and that less than five per cent of households are presenting their bins with excess waste.
Environment leader Lesley Hinds said: “This has been a poorly attended publicity stunt that neither improves the situation nor accurately reflects the needs of the community.
“Of course, I’d be happy to meet any of the protesters to have constructive discussions on how we can improve their collection service, but they have made no approaches so far.
“In fact, I’m told there have been very few issues in the Muirhouse and West Pilton area, which may be why only a handful of people turned out on Monday morning.”
YOU COULD BE FORCED TO WAIT EVEN LONGER, FOLKS . .
CITY chiefs have refused to rule out even longer gaps between rubbish collections after a Holyrood quango recommended the move in a new document.
Fears that families may be forced to wait three or more weeks for their bins to be emptied were sparked by Zero Waste Scotland guidance, which said collection frequency and bin size should be looked at to cut non-recyclable waste.
In its Local Auth-ority Kerbside Good Practice Guide, ZWS says: “Where fortnightly non-recyclable collections already exist, the opportunity to review non-recyclable waste capacity or collection frequency should be investigated.”
Environment convener Lesley Hinds, left, said there were “no immediate plans” to change the current controversial system of fortnightly collections, but she said the recycling scheme would be reviewed next year.