Garden tax should root for the customer - not the system - John McLellan

The Council’s brown bin charge, or Garden Tax, is now a fact of life, but in the midst of the growing season the proper disposal of garden waste is obviously an important service.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 7:00 am
The system of brown bin collection should be a little more helpful to city gardeners this summer, says John McLellan. PIC: Pixabay.

I forgot to put mine out on Tuesday night and, the tell-tale squeak of the truck outside when I was brushing my teeth led to a dash down the street dragging a full bin to catch the collection. Phew.

I am in the privileged position of having a sticker, but if you have missed the window for paying your £35 to sign up for the service you’re on your own. Even if there are good reasons, like you’ve just moved in, the Council will not budge from its rule that it’s just tough and you have to make your own arrangements.

The reason is extra collections could affect the weight and the routes might need adjusting. There are no extenuating circumstances whatsoever and I have a constituent who has been denied the service despite being heavily pregnant. She is expected to lug bins about when the council truck is driving past her house.

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It is a prime example of a service being organised to suit the system, not the customer, and is it any wonder that in the last Edinburgh People Survey only 55 per cent of people with children were satisfied with the council's waste services, and nearly a third of women were dissatisfied.

It’s the Edinburgh equivalent of a waiting list to buy a Trabant.

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