Edinburgh World Heritage says communal bins hub plan 'threatens visual integrity of New Town'

The body charged with safeguarding Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site has come out strongly against plans for communal bin hubs in the New Town.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 4:55 am

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In a statement, Edinburgh World Heritage (EWH) said it had not been consulted on the proposal before the council approved it.

And it warned: “We are concerned that the current plan to locate numerous new bin hubs across the New Town represents a threat to the visual integrity of the New Town. Adding street clutter will negatively alter the character of our Georgian terraces.”

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Critics say communal bins are too often not emptied frequently enough

It said the plan was for up to six individual bins at each hub – for food, glass, mixed recycling and residual waste – which would be emptied every other day.

But it said major decisions on changes to services in local areas should be taken with the consent of the community and to go ahead without the support of local people and community groups would “set an unfortunate precedent for the future”.

EWH said: “Waste management in a World Heritage City is a complex issue for which there is no simple answer. Given that the New Town Conservation Area is highly valued for its authenticity, we believe that solutions and compromises need to be looked at on a street-by-street basis.”

It declared its support for gull-proof sacks, but said it would work with the council to look at all options.

And it called for “a more flexible approach” to the principles set by the council, such as the requirement that no bin hub should be further than 50 metres from each place of residence, or that no resident should have to cross a road to deposit waste.

EWH said underground waste storage systems may offer a better longer-term solution.

Council environment vice-convener Karen Doran said there had been meetings with EWH which touched on relaxation of the 50m rule nd crossing the road. “We’re also looking to locate bin hubs in between cars rather than at the end of parking as well as the size, colour of the bins and how we secure them so they can’t be moved out of place.”

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