City says it’s coping with rubbish crisis as bin bags pile up

Piles of refuse sacks in West Granton Road
Piles of refuse sacks in West Granton Road
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ENVIRONMENT chiefs have insisted that the ongoing bins fiasco is being dealt with despite a fresh raft of complaints from residents.

Communal bins have been left overflowing in West Granton, chute-fed bins have been standing unemptied for over a month in Murrayfield and one disabled householder in Leith failed to get his wheelie bin lifted despite making more than 20 phone calls to the council.

Barry MacPherson, 28, of Elbe Street, and his two neighbours, said they had watched over the past month as bin crews emptied communal bins on their street, but left their green wheelie bins.

Despite walking with crutches, Barry said he had been forced to haul his rubbish from his own bin to a communal bin.

He said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous. I’ve rung the council over 20 times about this. Finally they told me that our bins don’t appear on the new system and this is why the crews have been leaving them every week.

“A supervisor was supposed to be sent out to have a look and get us put on the new route but I’ve yet to see him. The situation is farcical. This isn’t a backlog problem here, this is someone making a mistake and refusing to rectify it.”

Other residents have also told of failed bin pick-ups stretching back over a number of weeks.

The situation got so bad for Frank Laurie, of Victoria Mansion in Murrayfield, and his fellow residents, that he filled his car with rubbish and took it to the dump himself.

He said: “There was a serious health issue arising as there was rubbish everywhere. We worked out that in the block there’s almost £17,000 worth of council tax being paid each year. For what, I don’t know.”

The council has admitted delays in food waste collections in Bravelaw, Glenbrook, Marchbank and Baberton, and delays in garden waste collections in Deanpark, Ravelrig, Addiston and Lanark Road. And it is understood that in an effort to catch up, the council’s own street-cleaning workers were drafted in and offered overtime to help out on the bin lorries on Saturday.

An updated report on the matter is set to go before councillors at the environment commitee on Thursday. Councillor Lesley Hinds, environment convener, said: “I can only apologise if some residents are not getting the service they should be. We are making every effort to get back to any households that may have been missed and in this case crews have been down to empty any outstanding bins on Elbe Street.

“However we are seeing an improvement in the situation and there has been a drop off in the number of complaints. A full update will be reported to committee on Thursday.”