Edinburgh residents hire skip to cope with uncollected rubbish

RESIDENTS of a city centre block of flats got so fed up with their bins not being picked up they hired a skip to deal with the excess rubbish.

Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 5:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 6:32 pm
Residents say businesses keep overflowing bins in the lane behind their flats
Residents say businesses keep overflowing bins in the lane behind their flats

The six communal general waste bins at Lothian House on Lothian Road are supposed to get emptied twice a week, but three months ago residents say the collections became unreliable - and despite repeated phone calls, the regular service did not resume.

They also claim businesses in the area - which are supposed to keep their waste on their own premises until collection day - leave overflowing bins permanently in the lane behind the flats.

And now they say rats have been spotted nearby.

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Flat owners hired a skip to cope with the uncollected rubbish

Jenny Stevenson, chair of the Lothian House Proprietors Association, said: “Initially, I phoned to report the full communal bins, but was never able to speak with a person, having to leave phone messages on an automated system, which produced no meaningful response.

“Our treasurer managed to get a different contact number at the council and since then she has been regularly reporting failed collections to the council staff and they send a ‘rapid response’ team ‘within two days’ to empty the bins.

“On one occasion, the situation was so dire that we had to hire a large refuse skip.”

She said the skip was almost full of bin bags and when the rapid response team arrived.

Rats have been spotted in the lane near the overflowing bins

“The bin men offered to report the situation to their bosses, saying they could see how extreme our problem is. But still nothing happened.

“We have also reported to environmental health that there is now an outbreak of rats which have been seen in our lane.”

Ms Stevenson said ever since they first reported the missed collections, the council had frequently promised to call back about the problem. “But they have never phoned back. We’ve had three months promises of being called back but we’ve not had a single call.”

She said shops and offices kept their overflowing bins in the same lane.

“Businesses are supposed to keep their waste in their own premises until collection time but they are not doing that.

“On some occasions, after our bins have been emptied, we have even found refuse from the businesses in our bins.”

She said she had written to business owners asking them to remove their bins from the lane, but the problem persisted.

Council environment convener Lesley Macinnes apologised to the residents for missed collections. “We are currently looking into why the issue occurred. This has now been rectified and usual collections will resume immediately.

“We would remind local businesses they must maintain a clean and tidy environment by taking responsibility for their rubbish. While this is a privately-maintained lane, our enforcement officers will continue to monitor the situation.”