Leith grandmother’s fury at Edinburgh City Council’s communal bins which will make garden a 'flytipping hotspot'

A Leith grandmother has slammed a council for installing a communal bin which she said could see her garden become a fly-tipping hotspot.

By Shona Elliott
Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 8:37 am

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Linda Sellar, who has lived in a ground-floor flat in St Clair Road for more two years, said that she was horrified to learn that a communal bin would be placed outside her front door.

The 70-year-old grandmother said no formal notice of the change to waste collection was given by the council and so she was shocked to see metal racks for the bin being installed on Monday, November 29.

Communal bin on Leith Walk

“The council asked for our views about a communal bin in August, I said no but did not receive a response from the council,” said the frustrated homeowner, who described the area as friendly and neighbourly.

“I was outraged when I saw them installing a metal rack for the bin as it’s clearly against residents' wishes.”

The communal bin will be installed by the council as part of their communal bin review, which will see flat block residents’ individual wheelie bins replaced with one big one in which everyone disposes of their household waste.

This particular bin will sit directly outside Ms Sellar’s garden and she is now worried that her patch of grass will become a hotspot for littering and fly-tipping as a result.

The unhappy woman said she has seen multiple communal bins installed in the surrounding area and that they always lead to more litter.

“The communal bin system clearly does not work,” she said. “There are lots of communal bins in the area and they are left overflowing, smelling bad and create mess.

“It is going to cause a real problem on the street, when people live with rubbish everywhere they just add to it and it makes the whole area spiral down.

“It’s going to impact the community spirit.”

Ms Sellar added that she had enjoyed spending time outside over lockdown and had been planning to plant a vegetable patch in her garden.

But she said her hopes of doing so have been shattered by the communal bin installation, which she said would attract mice and rats in the area as well as ‘smell awful’.

The council’s environment convener, councillor Lesley Macinnes, said communal bins allow more kerbside space for prams and wheelchairs and will also enhance the streetscape.

Ms Macinnes said: “The flats at this address are changing from individual bins to communal bins as part of our communal bin review.

“This is designed to make waste collection more efficient in the area and improve the service for residents.

“We wrote to residents in August and received one objection which referred to possible overflowing bins and fly tipping.

“These are issues which we’re addressing through our new improved bin hub service by providing increased capacity and a more reliable and frequent service.

“There are numerous benefits to having bin hubs at the same location – it makes recycling easier and more accessible as they’re in the same place as non-recyclable waste.

“This will help the city meet our increased targets for recycling and meet our ambitious zero waste goals.”

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