Blind Edinburgh woman claims her bin has not been emptied for 14 weeks

Amy Gilbert says her bin had not been collected since September.
Amy Gilbert says her bin had not been collected since September.
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A blind woman has slammed the city council after claiming her bin had not been emptied since September.

Amy Gilbert, 28, lives alone in The Jewell area of the city and insists she is fed up of the “unacceptable” service from the council’s waste management team.

It comes after the Evening News revealed more than 2,500 complaints over missed bin collections were received by the council in the space of a week.

Ms Gilbert says her bin had not been emptied for up to 14 weeks and resulted in her front garden becoming a tip, filled with bin bags and cardboard boxes.

She believes the council’s service has been “despicable”, especially for a woman in her condition.

Council officers eventually turned up to empty her bins on Wednesday, but she was horrified to discover that they had not removed the surrounding mountain of rubbish.

She said: “My bins had not been emptied for around 13 to 14 weeks. It wasn’t just me, my neighbours are in the same situation. Myself and my friends contacted the council so many times and we just got fobbed off.

“It is just completely unacceptable. The rubbish was not in the bin only because the council had not collected the bin waste in the first place.

“I can’t keep going like this. What happens if the bin isn’t collected next week? I pay council tax, what for?

“I suffer from anxiety and the rubbish there was clearly a fire hazard. For elderly or disabled people especially, they shouldn’t have to cope with this.

“It’s despicable. God knows what the people think of me when walking past my house with all that rubbish.”

In October, the SNP-Labour city council administration rolled out new four-day waste collection rotas alongside its new paid-for garden waste service. But more than 8,000 complaints were tallied up in five weeks – leaving residents with piles of rubbish.

Opposition councillors this week called for the city’s environment convenor, Cllr Lesley Macinnes, to be replaced following a “hollow apology” for the current service levels.

Following a call from the Evening News to the city council, Ms Gilbert’s remaining waste was removed yesterday.

She said: “Three guys came along and a lorry to clear my garden. I couldn’t believe it. It’s been so long since my garden didn’t look like a tip. I’d like to thank my friends Shiona McCloud, Rachel Taylor and John MacDonald for all their help during all of this.

“It can be very difficult when you’re on your own but they have worked tirelessly to support me as much as they possibly could.”

A council spokesperson said: “We are aware that there have been issues on this route and apologise for any disruption to collections.

“While drivers do not pick up side waste, we appreciate that in this instance it was due to delayed bin collections.

“As a result the local supervisor has visited the resident to clear any additional rubbish from their garden and has assured them of a reliable collection service going forward.”