Rubbish touches refuse area ceiling as fiasco intensifies

Lachlan MacLean who lives in Sandport, Leith. Picture: Kate Chandler
Lachlan MacLean who lives in Sandport, Leith. Picture: Kate Chandler
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BINS have piled up to the ceiling of a collection area in the Capital, as the ongoing situation was branded “nothing short of a fiasco”.

Bins in areas across the city are still overflowing after the move to fortnightly collections led to widespread problems.

The council is still working to clear the backlog, as politicians and residents demanded “urgent action” to resolve the problem by the end of the week.

Residents of Sandport in Leith, who cannot leave their homes without being hit with the smell of rotting waste, are now faced with having nowhere to store their rubbish, with bags piled up to the ceiling of the collection area.

Lachlan Maclean, who first alerted the council to the problem more than two weeks ago, has lodged a formal complaint over the failure to provide proper waste removal services.

The 53-year-old, who is a medical physics technician at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, told the Evening News: “I was away at the start of September, so I’m not sure exactly when the last collection was. However, the bins were piling up enough that I got in touch with the council on September 17 and again on the 19. I’ve also e-mailed them, with pictures of the bins, though they have piled up further since.

“Whenever I have contacted the council they have assured me that something would be done – we’re still waiting.

“I haven’t seen any vermin around the area yet but I imagine it’s only a matter of time.

“The smell coming from the rubbish room is terrible and it hits you the minute you open your front door. I made a formal complaint today, so 
hopefully that will hurry things along a bit. I’ve also been in touch with the fire brigade and sent them a picture of the bags all piled up because it must be a fire hazard.”

Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West Mike Crockart used his Twitter feed to draw attention to uncollected bins yesterday, posting pictures from areas including Corstorphine, Haymarket, the West End and
Cramond.

“Having been contacted by a number of constituents about the problem I decided to go out and find out what was happening for myself, which is something someone from the council should have done weeks ago,” he said. “It’s not been hard to find instances of whole streets that have been forgotten, and I’m personally appalled by the state the council has left some places in.

“My constituents have told me they have been assured all these areas will be cleared of rubbish within the next few days, but what we need now is urgent action, not promises.”

Labour councillor Gordon Munro said that the situation was “not acceptable”, adding: “This is affecting many parts of Leith, and we like to see Leith looking at its best, so hopefully these issues will soon be resolved.”

Green councillor for Leith Chas Booth added: “This situation is completely unacceptable. The mismanagement of the change to fortnightly bin collections has been absolutely shocking.

“In common with most of my constituents I actually support the move but the way it has been handled is nothing short of a fiasco.

“I have already raised the issue with waste managers and will continue to do so until it is resolved.”

Edinburgh City Council confirmed they were aware of the issue at Sandport and would be looking to resolve the problem as soon as possible.