Communal bins ‘to be reduced by 25%’ under Edinburgh Council plans

A change is coming to the communal bin system in Edinburgh.
A change is coming to the communal bin system in Edinburgh.
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PLANS have been unveiled to trial a new system of communal bin collection in a bid to cut down on missed collections, fly-tipping and overflowing bins.

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Readers reacted angrily to our Bin Watch campaign this year.

Readers reacted angrily to our Bin Watch campaign this year.

As opposed to the current twice a week system, the shake up would instead see communal landfill and recycling bins collected every other day.

If approved by the council’s transport and environment committee, the trial would go ahead in a select area of Leith Walk ward.

According to the council, increasing the frequency of collection has the potential to reduce the number of bins – and therefore maintenance and replacement requirements – by 25 per cent.

Transport and environment convener Lesley Macinnes said the scheme was a “major project” aimed at enhancing the Capital’s current system.

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She said: “By increasing the frequency of collections, we hope to vastly improve the service, reducing the occurrence of overflowing bins and associated litter, which I know is a frustrating and unsightly issue for residents and visitors alike.

“Under our waste and cleansing improvement plan we made a commitment to provide an efficient, accessible waste collection service for the city’s residents.

“This project will go some way to achieving this, tightening up the way we make collections while providing greater opportunities to recycle waste.

“I look forward to receiving the results of the trial.”

READ MORE: Bin Watch: Edinburgh residents’ anger over at overflowing bins

Across the city there are approximately 18,000 communal bins, ranging in size from 500 to 3200 litres.

Bin locations across the city would also be reviewed over a year-long period to pinpoint the best locations where landfill and recycling bins could be located together. It is hoped the scheme would be rolled out over the next three to five years.

Nick Cook, transport and environment spokesman for the city Conservatives, said opting for more frequent bin collections – as opposed to further cluttering of residential streets – was welcome in principle.

But he added: “Given the well documented failings of the city waste collection services, there will be legitimate concerns over the council’s capacity to carry out these additional collections.

“The council must also consider the environment impact of having extra bin lorries on residential streets.”

Council papers outlining the move state there is a “clear lack of public confidence in the communal collection system”, adding overflowing bins are typically put down to missed collections. However, they say trade waste abuse and increasing numbers of holiday lets are also contributory factors.

Officers will also investigate alternative communal bin collection methods and the potential for bin housings.

The review will be supported by the results of a recent survey commissioned by the council, carried out by Changeworks, to better understand how residents currently use the communal bin service.