Muirhouse man blocked road in protest over bin collection
A MUIRHOUSE man barricaded a street in the area with his car after becoming furious with a lack of bin collections.
Ronnie Scotland refused to move and said he was “willing to get arrested” for his protest, over waste management teams failing to remove refuse from Muirhouse Gardens.
Mr Scotland, 71, said the authority regularly missed collections and have not emptied any bins in the street for more than a week - despite consistently turning up on time for neighbouring Silverknowes.
Residents were stunned on Thursday afternoon as they watched Mr Scotland form a blockade with his car and neighbours’ bins at the top of the street, preventing vehicles from accessing the road.
But Ronnie, who recently returned home after having surgery on his aortic valve, stood his ground, saying he was “sick of Muirhouse being forgotten”.
He told the Evening News: “It has been an absolute nightmare, they were supposed to be emptied a week past Tuesday and the council haven’t even bothered to turn up.”
“It’s every week with this, there are bits of rubbish and black bags everywhere. Lassies are walking up and down the street with their prams and they can’t get past.”
“You pay your money, your council tax and they just give you nothing for it.”
He continued: “Enough’s enough at this point, I’m willing to get arrested because someone has to take a stand.”
Mr Scotland initially refused to move until council officials arrived to deal with the mess, however he was eventually talked down by local police officers who arrived at the scene on Thursday afternoon.
One resident, who witnessed the protest, said: “When I went to speak to him, he said he was doing until the police arrive or until the council show up to empty the bins.”
“Good on him for taking a stand, but every person in the street now has their bins all across the road.”
“No one could get their car down, it is just absolute chaos.”
Neighbours have since confirmed that waste management workers arrived on the scene and were emptying the bins.
However, they reported the local authority had been contacted about the ongoing issues for over a month before any action was taken.
Others added that residents in Silverknowes often had no problem having their refuse collected on time, adding they agreed with Mr Scotland’s claim that the area had been “left behind”.
Social media users also backed Mr Scotland’s actions, with one posting: “Well done sir you stand up for what you believe in, being retired and bored is no fun when you can take on the Council.”
Councillor Lesley Macinnes, City of Edinburgh Council environment convener, apologised to Mr Scotland for the inconvenience.
She said: “We’re working very hard to make sure residents receive the waste collection service they expect and deserve, which is why I find it particularly disappointing when things like this happen.”
She added: “I want to apologise to Mr Scotland and his neighbours for the problems they’ve been having and to reassure them that we will investigate the matter thoroughly to put things right as fast as possible.”