Pub loses takings over overflowing council bins

The overflowing bins on Cockburn Stree. Picture: Anna Brudnowska
The overflowing bins on Cockburn Stree. Picture: Anna Brudnowska
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A GASTROPUB may have to shed staff after losing thousand of pounds in takings since two “monstrous” bins were placed outside its premises.

Anna Brudnowska, landlord of the Arcade Bar in Cockburn Street, said the move had undermined any vision for a cafe culture in the city.

Anna Brudnowska. Picture: Greg Macvean

Anna Brudnowska. Picture: Greg Macvean

She blames mountains of rubbish piled high in new communal bins for her plummeting income – which is down by around 20 per cent in recent months. If takings continue to drop, Ms Brudnowska, 31, fears she will be forced to axe jobs.

Today she said: “No-one can see the pub because those two bins are taking up half of my window.

“They are also overfilled and it doesn’t give a good impression to customers. If they see all the filth outside they don’t want to come in. We are losing business because of that.”

Environment chiefs say the location of the bin is only temporary – but Ms Brudnowska fears she’ll have to kiss her usual Festival boost goodbye as would-be customers are put off by the smell. She said: “Business used to be brilliant. We spent a lot of money doing a refurbishment two years ago and since then business has been booming and everything was perfect.

“The Festival is a time when we make our money for the whole year. I don’t know what’s going to happen but it’s going to be down on what we made last year.

“If I keep losing money I will have to let some people go because I can’t afford to keep them any more.”

The blast comes as the city prepares to pedestrianise stretches of Princes Street in a bid to boost cafe culture and lift planning restricting to cultivate al fresco dining.

Open-air experiences are central to the council’s vision for the future, with Grassmarket and George Street among the districts to have flourished from the policy.

Bill Cowan, planning spokesman for Edinburgh Old Town Association, said a “flexible solution” was needed for the area. He said: “Much of them are speciality businesses and we can’t afford to have huge bins outside out shops 24/7

“They are going about this wrong and see it as a way of cutting costs: if they emptied the bins twice as often they would only need half as many.

“Pubs are having a bad time and when they put two huge bins outside your shop that can be the last straw. It’s business that pays the rates, makes the city run and the council should pay more attention to making sure it’s a viable sector.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, the city’s environment convener, said: “Communal containers have been introduced on Cockburn Street as part of the modernisation of waste collection in the World Heritage Site. This is in an effort to stop black bin bags being left on the street, reducing litter and keeping streets clean.

“The current position of these communal bins outside the Arcade Bar is a temporary arrangement and we have plans to move these to a different location.”