Calls to clean up Capital as '˜waste epidemic' spreads

Litterbugs and fly-tippers have been blasted by council chiefs and green campaigners as Edinburgh finds itself in the grip of a waste epidemic.

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 6:00 am

Stretching from Leith to Wester Hailes, residents have highlighted hotspots within the city showcasing the sorry state they have become due to thoughtless litter louts.

Overflowing bins and fly-tipping is a growing issue that needs addressing, with additional pressure being applied on already stretched council services.

Transport and environment convener, councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “This kind of behaviour is utterly selfish and irresponsible, in addition to being illegal, and is at significant cost to the council to the detriment of other, essential services.”

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At the heart of the issue are residents and tourists who do not dispose of their litter in an appropriate manner.

Those convicted of fly-­tipping can be fined an unlimited amount or imprisoned for up to five years.

Green environment spokesman Cllr Steve Burgess said: “In the case of fly-tipping, if residents see any evidence of who is doing it then please let council staff know so that prosecution can happen.

“In many hotspots, like the Water of Leith, it is the day to day build-up of hundreds of plastic bags and bottles that is most noticeable.

“I think it is vital that areas are cleared up as quickly as possible, as ­littered areas tend to attract more litter.”

Princes Street Gardens
Hot weather litter louts are being shamed for leaving the Capital’s beauty spots riddled with rubbish after basking in the sun.

Heaps of bottles, cans and food containers were left spilling out of bins at Princes Street Gardens (pictured), Gipsy Brae and Leith Links last week.

Reader Jean Campbell Spinner said: “I was appalled at such a disgraceful sight in our Capital.”

Edinburgh Council told the Evening News additional large bins are being installed on Cramond Promenade in the coming months.

Councillor Lesley Macinnes, transport and environment convenor, said: “I appreciate that overflowing bins are unsightly and we work hard to respond to reports of litter and full bins. However, we would be helped enormously if people dispose of their litter responsibly.”

Wester Hailes

A council environment chief has slammed the “irresponsible” culprits who dumped seven tonnes of rubbish on a school athletics track.

In the latest of a spate of fly-tipping incidents in south-west Edinburgh, three heaps of building supplies made up of tarmac, paving slabs, wire and more were tipped on to the grounds at Wester Hailes Education Centre.

One resident said: “The biggest pile was there since February and it’s incredibly dangerous.”

However, after a call from the Evening News, the rubbish was cleared away less than 24 hours later.

Police Scotland is supporting the council with its inquiries.

Cllr Lesley Macinnes said: “We have reason to believe that these cases of fly-tipping are connected with several other incidents in south-west Edinburgh and we are currently following a positive line of inquiry in relation to these.”

Water of Leith

A Leith resident is calling for a strategy to be put in place to stop rubbish from accumulating in the Water of Leith basin.

Tricia Morrish, 68, said bottles, tyres and other waste gets clogged up in the basin after making its way through Edinburgh.

She said: “Edinburgh is littering Leith. It’s tragic because we all love Leith and it’s a great place to live. But people come here and it’s not the impression we want to give them.”

A spokesperson for Port of Leith confirmed contractors had been sent out clear waste last week and installed a second boom upstream to reduce the risk of the litter entering the port, despite not being responsible.

They added: “We’ve seen a significant increase in the rubbish accumulating under the Ocean Drive road bridge.”

Edinburgh Council and Water of Leith 2000 have been contacted regarding the issue.