Five reports an hour over Edinburgh bins despite drop in complaints

Complaints have dropped by over 20%. Picture; Phil WIlkinson
Complaints have dropped by over 20%. Picture; Phil WIlkinson
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COMPLAINTS about missed bin collections in the Capital have fallen by a fifth – but critics have warned there is still a long way to go to clean up the city’s streets.

Between October to December last year, the council recorded more than 10,000 complaints – at a rate of 835 a week or around five every hour.

But the total has fallen by 20 per cent from the 1042 complaints being lodged weekly in the previous quarter.

Council chiefs have praised the progress of their 65-point action plan, which was launched last year in response to the Evening News’ Bin Watch campaign amid piles of litter and overflowing bins.

However, anti-litter campaigners said more needed to be done, with Leithers Don’t Litter co-founder Gerry Farrell insisting it remained a “constant” problem.

He said: “I think the council is gradually getting its act together. They are half-way there but there’s a long way to go. They are willing to meet us and to help, but I think rubbish collection is a big problem.

“Now is the time to put pressure on the council to keep the efforts up and change things.”

He said there were still “problem” areas for litter, including a number of smaller roads off Leith Walk.

Gordon Burgess, owner of The Bed Shop on the thoroughfare itself, said he hadn’t noticed much difference and suggested other major council projects, such as the on-going 20mph rollout, had distracted from the clean-up.

He said: “I haven’t really noticed a great deal of improvement because the streets are such a mess with the roadworks. I’d like to see less talk and more action and that’s not just for litter, that’s for everything.”

Lisa Rice, manager of Maxies Bistro on Johnston Terrace, was more positive.

Just months ago, the café reported overflowing rubbish from a nearby public bin had been putting off customers.

She said: “It’s all been fine since. The council seem to be on top of it now and we haven’t had any problems.”

Lesley Hinds, the council’s transport and environment leader, said the council had made “considerable” changes to how it collects rubbish.

She said: “The significant drop in missed bin complaints on the previous quarter is extremely encouraging and demonstrates the impact of our ongoing efforts. That said, there is no room for complacency. We will continue to work to achieve the outstanding actions within the plan as well as building on existing actions.”

florence.snead@jpress.co.uk