Tories question council’s 90% bin collection figures

Rubbish at Castlebrae school
Rubbish at Castlebrae school
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CRITICS have cast doubt on claims that 90 per cent of households have had their bins emptied on time following the move to fortnightly collections.

The city’s Conservatives said the actual number of households experiencing delays to their scheduled uplift may be higher than the council’s estimate that one in ten collections were late.

Speaking at a full council meeting yesterday, Joanna Mowat, who represents the City Centre, said: “The 90 per cent figure may be well lower considering the number of complaints we’re getting.”

But city environment leader Lesley Hinds said it did not matter what the current level of clearance was because crews would have caught up with the entire backlog by Sunday.

She said: “We can’t underestimate the massive change this is for staff and residents. I’d like to thank staff for the changes they have had to make to their duties. We have to acknowledge there have been teething problems.”

The Evening News previously told how around 7500 household bins had not been emptied on time amid the transition to once-a-fortnight collections.

It had been suggested that changes to the collection timetable and pick-up routes may have caused confusion among bin men who missed out homes or streets as a result.

Union chiefs had also warned their members could suffer “musculoskeletal issues” from collecting black bags left beside wheelie bins after failing to receive adequate training.

Councillor Mowatt said she would be “disturbed” to learn bin men would need additional training to lift a black bag from the pavement rather than a wheelie bin.

Meanwhile, the council has admitted it was still “experiencing temporary issues” with waste collection after being called out yesterday to Castlebrae Community High School, where overflowing bins had forced staff to pack rotting food waste in kitchen cupboards.

Bin men failed to turn up at the school last Friday and, with rubbish bags overflowing outside the campus, a decision was made to store kitchen waste indoors to prevent it being strewn around by 
vermin tearing at the bags.

It is understood teachers had made repeated calls to have the waste removed but the bins were only emptied yesterday.

Honor Flynn, chair of Castlebrae Community High School’s parent council, said: “It’s absolutely terrible that the school has had to wait a week to have its rubbish taken away.

“The fact that staff had to store bags of rubbish is shocking, it’s a major health 
 hazard.”

A spokesperson for the city council said: “We are still experiencing temporary issues with waste collection as the new system beds in and we thank everyone for their continued patience. Crews have now collected the waste from the school.”