GIANT communal rubbish bins are rolling into the heart of the New Town – a decade after they were first proposed.
Residents in several key streets have been given notice that the black bins will arrive during the next three months to replace free bin bags.
The council says the move will help stop streets being strewn with rubbish from bags torn open by gulls and foxes.
But the switch to communal bins is not universally popular. Brian Ferrier, 58, from St Vincent Street said: “We had these communal bins several years ago as a trial for about a year. They never emptied them regularly enough. You have to put up with a smelly bin outside your front door, people throwing stuff into them at midnight and leaving a lot of bin bags sitting next to it because it’s full.
“They got nothing but complaints and we went back to the black bin bags.”
Heritage campaigners and residents resisted the giant bins a decade ago, claiming they were inappropriate for the Capital’s World Heritage site and threatening legal action to block their introduction.
But Marion Williams, secretary of the Cockburn Association, said they had been “worn down” and come to accept that even “ugly” bins were better than streets constantly blighted by burst bags.
She said: “What the city needs but cannot afford is a system of underground waste pipes where you drop the waste below the pavement level and tubes suck it to a large receptacle where it is taken away for recycling or landfill. Communal bins are the wrong solution, but it’s the fix-it-now, cheapest option.
“We all accept the council has no money and we’re fed-up with waste all over the street and you get worn down.”
Audrey Cavaye, secretary of the New Town & Broughton Community Council, said other cities in the world managed to make the bins nicer looking and cleaned them regularly. “They also need to be more hidden, maybe by putting some screening around them,” she said.
Streets in the latest roll-out include Albany Street, Circus Gardens, Dublin Street, Dundonald Street, Grosvenor Gardens, Rosebery Crescent, Calton Row, St Ninian’s Row, Nelson Street, Royal Crescent, Scotland Street, St Vincent Street, and Walker Street.
Gull-proof bags will be used instead in some streets, including Manor Place, Great King Street and Moray Place.
Environment convener Lesley Hinds said: “It is clear that black bin bags are no longer a viable option.”