Edinburgh bin strike: Maybe public should collect all the litter and dump it outside the offices of the people in charge – Hayley Matthews

Rubbish bags lie next to overflowing bins in Edinburgh's Grassmarket (Picture: Peter Summers/Getty Images)Rubbish bags lie next to overflowing bins in Edinburgh's Grassmarket (Picture: Peter Summers/Getty Images)
Rubbish bags lie next to overflowing bins in Edinburgh's Grassmarket (Picture: Peter Summers/Getty Images)
I know you've probably read loads already on the bin situation and many have given their views already. However, here's what I think.

I don't believe many, if any, have sympathy for the council leaders refusing a better pay deal for the cleansing department.

Many of us do, however, have lots of sympathy for the staff who have worked endlessly throughout the pandemic to keep the streets clean, collected our rubbish and tidied up at the back of us.

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The job is not the most pleasant and many a time in the summer, I've smelt that awful pungent stench of the bin lorry passing as it leaves with a puff of smoke from the rear but nonetheless it is a crucial job that needs to be done – and regularly.

Let's admit it, many would pass the job by in favour of something less "messy", but at the end of the day it is our mess and it's getting worse by the minute.

As I walked along the bridges and through the Grassmarket the other day I have to say, I wasn't expecting it to look quite so bad, so quickly.

Bags spilling out everywhere, people throwing more rubbish on the piles already there and others holding their hands over their faces as they passed due to the stench. It’s now becoming a health issue as poo bags, rotting food waste and tissues fall over onto the pavement. How did we go from social distancing germaphobes recently to walking through each others waste and rubbish with not a care in the world? The irony!

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City’s terrific bin workers deserve a decent pay rise

Should we be doing more as citizens to support the city’s workers who only ask for a decent pay package? Should we be out with bags and litter pickers doing some damage control? I'm tempted to gather as many bin bags as possible, collect as much as I can, but where to take it?

At least if we organised a mass litter-picking event, we could contain some of the rubbish. Maybe we could leave it outside the offices of those in charge as a sign of solidarity and of how we need something done ASAP.

The situation is dire and surely by now we all see how valuable the bin-lorry men and women are to the functioning of the city. The job they do is essential and we appreciate that, we all see it and the need to pay them their worth and keep us all from a public health crisis.

Things hit a new low yesterday as I walked up Lothian Road and noticed someone had been sick up against a shop window. The rain had mushed it all up together with the rubbish on the street that had been lying about all over the place. People had walked through it on the pavement as there was little choice.

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I think many will start walking on the roads because I can't see this ending soon.

However, regardless of when it ends, the irony is that those currently on the picket lines asking for a decent deal will be the ones having to clear it all up. The longer it goes on, the bigger the mess, the more to clean up and the worse the situation gets for everyone. I think they need our help.

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