18 tonnes of rubbish left on Edinburgh’s beaches

A bin overflows on Portobello beach. Picture: contributed
A bin overflows on Portobello beach. Picture: contributed
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Sweltering temperatures have brought out more than just the sun, with litter louts depositing 18 tonnes of rubbish on Edinburgh’s seaside – the equivalent of two double decker buses.

Sunbathers across the Lothians basked in temperatures of up to 28C yesterday – hotter than Alicante, Miami and Istanbul.

But the hot spell – which is set to continue into next week – posed a challenge for the city’s environmental wardens, who removed 18 tonnes of litter, barbecue waste and other material from Portobello beach in ten days.

Many people took to social networking sites to express their disgust at the scenes.

Sunbather Sharon Brammer said: “We were there yesterday early evening and the amount of rubbish left lying about on the beach was unreal. There are lots of bins about so no excuse for it.

“It’s not hard to collect it all in a carrier bag and put it in the bin when you are leaving.”

With the sunny spell set to continue over the weekend, the council is sending a tractor down the promenade to empty bins more frequently and a group of residents have 
organised a litter pick.

Transport and environment convener Lesley Hinds said: “While it’s great that so many people are enjoying the sunny weather, not everyone is clearing up after themselves.

“This puts a huge amount of pressure on our resources, spoils the enjoyment of the beach for others and can damage the marine environment.

“I’d ask everyone visiting the beach this summer to make sure the only thing they leave behind are their footprints.”

Forecasters from the Met Office have predicted that today will remain dry and bright, with top temperatures of 22C.

The hot weather also played havoc with the country’s rail system – with Network Rail forced to take preventative measures.

Earlier this week, the temperature of train rails reached up to 43C, causing signalling problems and leaving trains coming in and out of Waverley subject to cancellation and delay from 2pm onwards, with all Edinburgh to Bathgate trains having to be cancelled.

A Network Rail spokeswoman said: “In areas that are sensitive to heat damage we have painted rails and signalling and telecoms equipment with heat reflecting paint. We have also introduced sprinkler systems to cool rail temperatures at key junctions and during trials these have reduced temperatures by four degrees in ten minutes.”

Elsewhere in the Capital, animals at Edinburgh Zoo were presented with iced treats to help them stay cool.

Lorna Hughes, team leader for primates and hoofstock, said: “Our penguins and 
rhinos enjoy being sprayed with hose pipes, some of our smaller monkeys love paddling pools, animals like our chimpanzees are fans of homemade ice lollies packed with fruit and others like our pandas and lemurs enjoy huge ice blocks.

“Many people saw Tian Tian our female giant panda licking and sliding a huge ice block around her indoor area 
yesterday afternoon.”