City resident forced to pay private firm to take away overflowing bins

A single wheelie bin over a fortnight wasn't enough for one resident
A single wheelie bin over a fortnight wasn't enough for one resident
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A CITY householder claims she has been forced to pay private bin men to take away her overflowing bins following the introduction of fortnightly 

Rosaleen McKnight, of Keir Street, searched online for a private alternative after she was continually left with excess waste for her single wheelie bin.

The 49-year old, who lives with her partner, three dogs and two cats, now pays £19.98 a month for two fortnightly private collections to add to her two council pick-ups.

She said: “We do try to limit our rubbish and hardly ever throw out food, for instance, but there is just too much for the bin over a fortnight. It was overflowing and we were having to look for room in other people’s bins to put rubbish in. It was another level of stress we did not need.”

Ms McKnight added: “It means I am now paying twice for the same service I had before.”

Fortnightly collections were introduced in the city ten weeks ago with the scheme drawing fierce criticism from householders who labelled it “shambolic”.

A subsequent change to the shift patterns of bin men led to missed routes and overflowing bins across the city as refuse workers struggled to find bin stores and communal bins.

Pest controllers have also told of an explosion in the number of rats across the city.

In North Edinburgh local concerns has led community groups, Tenants and Residents in Pilton (TRIP), and Tenants and Residents in Muirhouse (TRIM), to hand-deliver dozens of black bags to the North Neighbourhood Office on West Pilton Gardens in an attempt to force councillors to return a weekly service to the area.

At present, organisers continue to rally support distributing flyers door-to-door in several of the worst affected neighbourhoods.

TRIP secretary, Jon Black, said: “Every week bins are overflowing, and the situation is getting worse not better. We are demanding that the council re-introduce weekly collections until people have received their recycling bins, and recycling rates are improved.

Robert Oxley of the Taxpayers’ Alliance said: “Residents already pay a fortune in council tax – they shouldn’t have to pay more to have their bins emptied on a weekly basis. Councils should not abandon hard-pressed households and make regular bin collections a preserve only of those who can afford it.”

City environment convenor Lesely Hinds said: “The majority of people across Edinburgh have adapted well to the change to fortnightly collections of non-recyclable waste. Early indications show that recycling is increasing and the amount sent to landfill is decreasing.”