'This is fraud' - readers react over Edinburgh's garden waste scheme 'chaos'
Readers have been venting their anger over missed garden waste collections in the Capital, as calls were made to refund residents who have been affected.
The city council launched a new garden waste scheme last month which allowed residents to sign up for an annual fee of Â£25 for green rubbish to be collected, coinciding with a roll-out of a new four-day kerbside collection rota.
But the changes saw council officers flooded with more than 8,000 complaints over missed collections in the space of five weeks with councillors reporting entire streets where bins had been missed.
And Liberal Democrat councillor Kevin Lang has now tabled a motion for Thursday’s full council meeting, which if given the thumbs up by councillors, would propose introducing a refund scheme for people who have paid the annual charge but do not get a proper level of service.
The current terms and conditions for the new charge makes clear that the council “does not give refunds for missed collections” – meaning customers currently have no means to get their money back.
But Evening News readers have taken to social media to have their say, with many clearly unhappy about the situation.
Anne Amato said: "I paid this tax and have still not received my label for bin so even if there were pick ups I cannot put my bin out now so will end up paying but getting nothing in return. To me this is fraud, asking for money for nothing."
William Crawford said: "Is anyone really surprised it's a shambles?"
Valerie Thornton Hunter said: "Another stealth tax... they do it so good... I sweep the leaves out on the street and they send two men around to sweep them up."
David Fox said: "They are good at taking your money and can’t deliver the goods."
Asmaa Keb said: "They don't even collect the regular bins. Yet alone the ones you pay for."
Desmond Herkes said: "If you don't put your bin out in time you can't expect it to be emptied as some in my (and adjacent) streets found out. Happy with the service so far although not happy having to pay for it."
The latest calls have come after weeks of problems, labelled “chaos” by Cllr Lang – with reports some residents have gone up to seven weeks without a collection.
In the first five weeks of the new scheme, the council has tallied up a total of 1,635 complaints over the paid-for garden waste service.
Transport and environment convener, Cllr Lesley Macinnes, said the delays are down to complex changes to routes, and that they are working hard ti rectify these issues.
She also apologised for any inconvenience caused.
Cllr Lang’s motion requests a report to the council’s finance and resources committee, setting out the options to introduce a refund scheme for those who have paid the charge but where the “service provided falls below a certain minimum standard”.