Edinburgh barber blasts council over 'nuisance' bin hubs outside shop

The owner said the bin hubs are making it harder for businesses.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

An Edinburgh barber has blasted the council for putting 'nuisance' bin hubs outside their shop.

Sabrina Van Tonder owner of Backstage barbers said the bins which were put in a week ago are putting off customers for her shop and the acupuncture business next door.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Locals have branded the grouped recycling and waste bins 'detrimental' as areas across the city see new hubs and collections rolled out in a bid to boost recycling.

The bin hubs – corrals of six varied kinds of bins at regular intervals along a street - are often placed right outside people’s homes. So far the scheme has sparked complaints that the council is adopting rigid criteria over where they must go.

But Ms Van Tonder said the council hasn't considered the impact on small businesses and is calling for hubs outside her shop to be moved.

The 35-year-old said the council is 'making it harder' for businesses. "I am outraged that Edinburgh Council have deemed it necessary to place their new Bin Hub for the street directly in front of the only two operating commercial premises on the street, even after receiving objections from myself and my neighbour opposing the plans last year. I wouldn't have taken over the business if I'd known. They promised to let us know then didn't. Next we knew they were painting on the road markings last month. I feel really annoyed at them for being sneaky about it."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Bin hubs outside shops on Lauriston Street are 'putting customers off'Bin hubs outside shops on Lauriston Street are 'putting customers off'
Bin hubs outside shops on Lauriston Street are 'putting customers off'

"The council response was that they received our objections but were going ahead with it anyway, without explanation. There is ample opportunity to have placed these bins elsewhere on the street that would allow both access for residents AND not further impact small businesses. 

"Customers often walk in here so this is going to affect footfall. After just a week there's rubbish lying about everywhere. It's messy, unsightly and puts people off. We have gulls fighting over the rubbish. It's a nuisance already. Next door the acupuncture business has clients that have disabilities and they need easy street access. Customers sit outside waiting for appointments and in summer but won't do that now."

"Small businesses are under enough strain in Edinburgh City centre as it is without their own council inflicting more damage through their thoughtless processes."

Ms Van Toner is now talking with other businesses and hopes to launch a petition.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She added: "This business has been here since 2017. It has survived many challenges, through covid, increasing energy prices and the parking charges have gone up to £6.50 an hour which discourages people. I get it, they need to put bins out but could do it in a way that doesn't make it even harder for businesses."

Cllr Scott Arthur, Environment Convener, said: “Our city-wide communal bin review project is grouping together recycling and waste bins to improve recycling provision and waste collection reliability for around 130,000 of our residents.

“The first phase of the project has been a great success and has led to a massive drop (85%) in the number of overflowing mixed recycling bin reports to the Council.

“Last September, we wrote to everyone in Lauriston Street and the surrounding area with our plans for communal bins. At that time a business owner asked us to move the hub.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We have a framework, approved by committee last May, which is fair for all residents and we used this to investigate the request for an alternative location. Where we can accommodate these types of requests we will but unfortunately we weren’t able to accommodate the request on this occasion.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.