‘The new bins regime faces its first real test’

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The start of fortnightly bin 
collections has proved to be a very mixed experience across Edinburgh.

For some neighbourhoods it has been a nightmare. Rubbish has piled up on the streets, bins have gone unemptied for weeks, pest controllers have seen demand for their services rise, and, three months on, things are still not back to normal.

In other areas, it has been a pretty smooth transition, with none of the disruption that was predicted.

Now, with the Christmas and New Year holidays looming, the new regime is facing what should be its first real test. The experience elsewhere when the switch has been made from weekly collections has been that problems arise over the festive 
holidays.

The reason for this is obvious. As we sit at home enjoying ourselves with family and friends, exchanging gift-wrapped presents and eating and drinking more than usual, we pile up waste faster than any other time of the year.

The average family produces five full bin bags more than usual over the holiday period, according to one estimate.

Given the inevitable change to bin collections over the holidays, the council had two options here.

First, recognising that this was an exceptional time when bins would fill up faster than usual, pay for an extra round of collections to ensure that no-one waited longer than two weeks for theirs to be emptied.

The alternative was to hold tight and hope that extra recycling collections would be enough to tide 
families through without leaving their waste bins overflowing.

The council has chosen the latter course. Time will tell whether or not that was a good idea.

We must hope that lessons have been learned from earlier this year when miscalculations left parts of the city looking like nothing more than a waste dump.

This newspaper, along with thousands of city residents, will be watching closely to see.

A real Jem

What an example Jemima Hedley is for older – and younger – workers.

We tell today how the 84-year-old has only just decided to hang up her mop at the sheltered housing complex where many of the residents are decades younger.

She could have retired 24 years ago, but then no-one told her to go, so why should she?

A daily early-morning swim is her key to a long working life as well as no doubt a strong work ethic.

All the best to Jemima for a very well-deserved long and happy 
retirement.