Convicts to help maintain Edinburgh bins amid ongoing crisis

Over flowing communal bins for general waste collection by Edinburgh City Council Waste Team, Gorgie Road Area. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Over flowing communal bins for general waste collection by Edinburgh City Council Waste Team, Gorgie Road Area. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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CONVICTS are set to be drafted in to help maintain Edinburgh’s bins, the Evening News can reveal.

City bosses said they were “working with criminal justice and other partners” as part of their latest drive to clean up the Capital’s streets.

Graffiti on communal bins on Ferry Road Drive that haven't been emptied for 4 weeks. Picture: Greg Macvean

Graffiti on communal bins on Ferry Road Drive that haven't been emptied for 4 weeks. Picture: Greg Macvean

It comes as they also unveiled plans to identify and target those dumpsters receiving the most complaints from residents – in a bid to clean them up once and for all.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, the city’s environment leader, said she was “absolutely committed to keeping this city clean and providing citizens with a satisfactory waste collection service”.

Officials argue convicts could help maintain and paint communal bins as part of their community service – boosting their unsightly appearance.

Meanwhile, council bosses will also look at the contract for supplying and maintaining the bins on a full-time basis.

They are also “investigating” the potential to install “housings” or enclosures around wheeled communal bins towards the end of the year to make them more attractive.

Elsewhere, they want to increase the supervision of the refuse service to improve its quality and “resolve customer issues”.

All of the ideas still need to be agreed by councillors before they can be put into action.

Cllr Chas Booth, Green environment spokesman, said he was “glad” city leaders were acknowledging “the performance of the waste service is not good enough and needs to improve”.

He added: “There’s no doubt that damaged, grafittied or run-down bins are a disincentive to people recycling and disposing of their waste correctly so moves to improve the appearance and ease of use of our waste and recycling containers is certainly welcome.

“We also need to ensure recycling information displayed on communal bins is clear, consistent and easy to understand.

“Green councillors have already published our own action plan following our consultation with trade unions and managers, so I look forward with interest to read the council’s proposals.”

The latest council drive comes amid the Evening News’ ongoing Bin Watch campaign, which aims to highlight problem hotspots across the Capital.

Cllr Hinds said: “We are absolutely committed to keeping this city clean and providing citizens with a satisfactory waste collection service. With so many residents living in tenements and flats, our communal bins are under a lot of pressure, and we want to address this.

“By pinpointing hotspots, we aim to resolve issues by looking at things like collection frequency and bin access, as well as ways of helping the public to dispose of their waste properly.

“Our team is also looking into improving the appearance of communal bins, which won’t only encourage people to dispose of their litter responsibly, but will vastly improve the appearance of our streets.”

alistair.grant@jpress.co.uk