Recycling dumped as new facilities fail to arrive

The recycling point at Morrisions Piershill. Picture: Ian Georgeson

The recycling point at Morrisions Piershill. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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RESIDENTS have been left without recycling facilities for nearly three months after their old red and blue boxes were withdrawn – but new communal bins failed to materialise.

People living in many tenement areas of the city are having to dump their recyclable material in with the rubbish destined for landfill sites.

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The council acknowledged there had been a delay in installing the new recycling bins, but insisted it was dealing with the problem.

It comes just a month after environmental campaigners said Edinburgh had to “up its game” on waste following ­figures which put the Capital in the bottom ten Scottish local authorities, with just 37.2 per cent of household rubbish being recycled in 2014.

Martin O’Donnell, who lives in Willowbrae Road, said people in his area received a letter from the council last November informing them the system of red and blue boxes for recycling was being withdrawn from the end of the month and that large, on-street recycling bins would be put in place instead.

The weekly box collections duly stopped – but no new bins appeared.

Mr O’Donnell said: “I called the council in December, who said there had been a delay from their suppliers – but in that case why stop the standard weekly collection?

“It happened just before the run-up to Christmas, probably the worst time to do it because you’re generating quite a lot of recycling rubbish at that time of year.

“Our whole area has just had to put all our recycling in the normal bins. That’s about three months now and there’s still no sign of the new bins.

“There are recycling points at some of the supermarkets, but I don’t have a car and I do my supermarket shopping online anyway.”

The Evening News told yesterday of bins going uncollected in the Leith Links area.

Robert Kirkwood, of Leith Links Residents Association, said: “If people cannot have confidence in the collections, recycling is going to drop off.”

Red recycling boxes for paper, plastic and cardboard, and blue ones for bottles, were withdrawn from most tenement streets outside the city centre at the end of November. The council said 82 per cent of streets due to get communal recycling bins now had them.

A spokeswoman said: “So far, of the 902 streets getting this service we have installed the communal bins to 740 streets, the remaining bins will be delivered and installed from the week commencing February 29. We aim to have the entire roll-out completed by the end of March.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused by the delay and appreciate residents’ patience while we get the bins put in place.

“Until the communal bins are in place, we will continue to collect red and blue boxes on request.”

ian.swanson@edinburghnews.com