40 extra street cleaners to be hired during Edinburgh Festival season

Extra street sweepers will be drafted in to help keep Edinburgh’s streets clean during the Festivals.

By Conor matchett
Thursday, 1st August 2019, 7:24 am
Extra street sweepers will be drafted in to help keep Edinburghs streets clean during the Festivals.
Extra street sweepers will be drafted in to help keep Edinburghs streets clean during the Festivals.

Staff numbers will more than double for the Festival season as 40 additional staff join the core team of 37 city centre street cleaners.

Last summer, the city council came under fire for the state of Edinburgh’s streets, with overflowing bins and dumped rubbish described as an embarrassment to the Capital.

The latest move will see crews provide a 24/7 service, to clear litter, empty bins and uplift fly-tipping.

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Extra street sweepers will be drafted in to help keep Edinburghs streets clean during the Festivals.

They will also focus on particularly busy periods of the festival, and work to discouraging litter-dropping and enforcing any potential fines.

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She said: “Festival time is upon us again and we’re getting ready to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors from Scotland and the rest of the world to explore and enjoy our wonderful city.

“With this extra influx of people, though, comes a huge added pressure on our resources, which is why we’re bolstering our street cleansing squad for August.”

Cllr Macinnes added: “We’re also unveiling some eye-rollingly lame jokes on around 30 litter bins in the busiest Fringe venue areas.

“These jokes are intended to raise a laugh, but they make a more serious point about the fact we all have our part to play in keeping Edinburgh looking her beautiful best.

“As the vinyls say, we’ll bin our bad jokes if people bin their litter.”

Every year, cleansing activity is increased to manage demand as the city population almost doubles, and is planned based “on demand over previous years”.

However, politicians have come under fire for announcing more street cleaners will be drafted into the Capital only to deal with Festival litter.

The move to rid the city centre of litter was welcomed, but some Evening News readers blasted the city council for doing it for the Festival, but not the residents.

One reader took to Facebook to say: “I’ve been saying this for years. The council don’t care about your average Edinburgh resident. They care about tourists, students and those of the upper class.”

“Do it for the festival, but not the residents. Good one,” one reader posted on social media.

Another wrote: “Why only for August? Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed so many places in the city centre which are squalid, rubbish-strewn messes. If I can see that, why can’t the council?

“One morning last week as I drove up the High Street, several large groups of tourists had congregated to await the arrival of their tour coaches.

“They must have had to wade through phenomenal amounts of ankle deep litter to get there, and I felt utterly embarrassed.”

Another said the measures supported the argument for a tourist tax on visitors to Edinburgh.

The reader said: “This is what the tourist tax would be used for, wouldn’t need to pull staff from other areas to cope with the additional mess.”