Edinburgh bin strike: We're finding out just how much our terrific bin workers do for the Capital. They deserve a decent pay rise! – Susan Morrison

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The city looks like a giant teen bedroom when mum has decided nope, not cleaning this anymore. The bin workers walked and suddenly we were face to face with our own rubbish.

Heavens, it's amazing how much junk we generate in such a short space of time.

Someone, I assume in the council, has run around taping up the litter bins around the city centre with yellow stripey tape. Makes the bins look like gagged Daleks.

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Clearly the idea was to stop people using the bins, but we all know that a litter-toting population is more determined than that. After all, we’ve spent a fortune telling people to use the bins provided.

The bins were bulging, but people were dutifully squeezing in every little bit of junk and cardboard that they could. When the bin and the tape could take no more, they resorted to carefully balancing their empty fast-food containers, takeout coffee cups and sandwich wrappings on top, which is where they stayed for about a minute until the breeze ruffled the lot off to form a sort of litter drift around the base of the bin.

It's almost like we have a mystical belief that if we leave the litter next to or on top of the bin, it doesn’t count as littering. An anthropologist casting an eye over the resulting display might think we were leaving offerings to the bin gods.

Might be a better idea to take the junk home with you.

There are little hills of black shiny refuse bags all over the streets, lolling about like Christmas presents for our favourite litter pickers, the seagulls. Those yellow beaks have never been busier.

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A backpacker walks through a rubbish-strewn Edinburgh street (Picture: David Cheskin/PA)A backpacker walks through a rubbish-strewn Edinburgh street (Picture: David Cheskin/PA)
A backpacker walks through a rubbish-strewn Edinburgh street (Picture: David Cheskin/PA)
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I watched a horde descend on a bloated bag and disembowel it faster than a flock of Serengeti vultures having a three-course dinner on a dead wildebeest. Could practically hear Sir David Attenborough in the background.

The discarded junk was pretty predictable in the main, but why the paper bag from Waterstones? Surely if you’d gone to the trouble of a bag for your book you would have held onto that.

Anyway, in these days of digital screens and constant scrolling, the act of buying a book with actual pages is positively revolutionary, and I would have thought that sashayingalong Princes Street toting a branded bag bragging about your reading choices would have been a good thing.

Against a bin on Castle Street stood a shoe box, badged up with the name of some seriously trendy trainers. Surprising litter, but I can relate, as can many a woman who has chosen to wear quite unsuitable shoes for a day’s sightseeing in a city that goes mainly uphill.

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Who dumped the sweat shirt with ‘I Love London’ on it? What fickle tourist got off the train at Waverley, clocked the Castle in all its glory, rushed to the nearest tat outlet blaring ‘Highland Cathedral’, got themselves an ‘I Love Edinburgh’ sweatshirt, ripped off the old one in disgust and chucked it in the bin?

The city's a mess. It's not a good look, but neither is not giving the people who keep our streets clean a decent wage, especially with terrifying fuel bills looming. Edinburgh’s bin service is terrific.

The guys on the trucks are worth every penny, so get them paid.

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