Edinburgh pensioner gets bins collected after daughter-in-law dumped refuse on council’s doortsep

Alison Weir with the rubbish she took to the council HQ. Picture: Scott Louden
Alison Weir with the rubbish she took to the council HQ. Picture: Scott Louden
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A PENSIONER whose bins had not been emptied for six weeks finally got her rubbish collected – a day after her daughter-in-law dumped a sack of refuse on the council’s doorstep.

The Evening News told yesterday how Alison Weir was so fed up calling the council about her mother-in-law’s uncollected bins that she put all her landfill rubbish in a black bag and left it at the council’s Drumbrae hub, addressed to a senior cleansing official.

Agnes Weir, 92, who lives in Parkgrove Terrace, was supposed to be getting assisted collections – where bin men will go into a garden to get the bins because residents are unable to put them out to the pavement – but the last time her rubbish was collected was at the end of November.

After Alison’s direct action protest council environment convener Lesley Macinnes apologised and promised to arrange to pick up the bins.

Alison said: “Sure enough, when we went round to Agnes’s yesterday all the bins had been emptied.

“And I got a phone call from the council as well to say everything was in place for her bins to be collected in the future. That’s the first time I’ve ever had a call back from them at all.

“I also got an e-mail from the council, accepting there had been a drastic failure and saying they are planning to put a supervisor on the route for the next two weeks to find out what made things fall apart in such a catastrophic way.

“At last I feel we’re getting somewhere now. My thanks to the Evening News for highlighting this problem.”

She said many people had also posted on Facebook, telling similar stories of assisted bin collections which did not happen.

“My main concern is there are vulnerable people out there – these are the silent and invisible people – who are not getting the service they are supposed to get.

“People who are well and able can get rid of their rubbish but the council has this facility and it is failing a lot of people.

“I’m relieved we’ve managed to sort this out for Agnes, but I hope it’s not just Agnes’s bins that are going to get emptied, but a lot of other people’s too.”

The council introduced a new four-day rota for bin collections in October, which meant different collection dates for many residents as well as new routes for bin lorries.

It coincided with the start of the controversial new charge of £25 per year for garden waste.

More than 8000 complaints, including many missed collections, were received in the following five weeks, although complaints have since halved.

Last week senior official Gareth Barwell was criticised by councillors for claiming the new rota was still “bedding in” almost three months after it was introduced. The council has urged anyone who has not had their bin collected to let them know.