CALLS to the council about litter and overflowing bins in the city centre during the Festival are down by more than a third on the same time last year, figures show.
Council chiefs said they had made a raft of improvements to the waste and cleansing service, including drafting in over 40 additional staff to provide 24/7 street cleansing support over the busy summer months, joining the existing team of 90 working across the city’s Old and New Town.
There are also more frequent bin collections and a night-time “barrow beat” crew on hand to service litter bins and trade waste near pubs, clubs and fast food shops.
And the council has stepped up engagement with the public through social media, including alerts via Twitter to tell people when a reported issue has been resolved.
Just over a week into the Festival, calls about waste and cleansing across the city are down from 806 to 592 compared with last year – a fall of 27 per cent.
And in the city centre, the most challenging area with the population doubling during the Festival, the calls were down from 117 to 72 – a drop of 38 per cent. The figures include calls regarding litter, communal bins, dog fouling and fly-tipping.
Other measures in place include dedicated environmental wardens patrolling the central area, particularly at busy periods, to discourage litter-dropping and fly-tipping and working alongside the council’s waste compliance team to tackle any trade waste infringements by businesses.
And in the Grassmarket, specially-appointed ambassadors are monitoring waste and cleansing in the area, while providing advice and guidance to visitors.
Transport and environment convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “As ever, we want to ensure Edinburgh is as clean as possible for both residents and visitors and, thanks to our hard-working staff, this is a really positive start to one of the city’s busiest times of the year.”
She said it was also clear evidence that measures such as increased staffing and the Our Edinburgh campaign – launched last year to tackle littering, fly-tipping and illegal trade waste by encouraging residents to take more pride in their city – were working well.
“We hope to be able to continue to manage this demand, however, we rely on the public doing their share too. We would encourage people to always take care when disposing of their rubbish to help make the Capital as beautiful as we all know it is.”