A store manager in Edinburgh has branded the state of the city centre and overflowing bins as “a disgrace” and said the problem will discourage tourists from visiting.
Dee Singh, general manager at Castlehill’s Tartan Weaving Mill, said he was horrified when he spotted waste bins full to the brim with rubbish while walking to work on Monday.
He said: “The season is just starting and all the visitor businesses are looking to make a recovery from the terrible years of Covid and our city council can’t even keep the main visitor street of Scotland clean and attractive for our welcome visitors.
"This city council should be voted out. They never keep this area clean. It’s a disgrace.”
Mr Singh claimed that members of the public regularly come into his store to use the bin, as the ones on the street are too full.
The problem is not isolated to Castlehill, but appears to be running rampant throughout Edinburgh’s city centre.
A local resident, runs Twitter page SOS Cockburn Street, said that bins in the Old Town are also “frequently overflowing”.
The woman, who does not want to be named, said: “Aside from being unsightly, it attracts vermin and soon the gulls will be back to tear the bags open.
“We report the problem when it reaches the point of overflowing, only to be told by the council that it will be addressed within two days. By that time it’s strewn along the street."
Stuart Hay, director of Living Streets Scotland, said: “It seems to be desperate times on the capital’s streets in terms of waste and litter.
"It will be difficult to get more people walking whilst streets are filthy and unpleasant. "A serious debate is needed on local government funding to improve Edinburgh’s streets and to restore civic pride.” Earlier this month, Council waste crews took four days to remove a “mountain of rubbish” on Calton Road, which prompted a flood of angry comments from locals on social media. Independent councillor Ashley Graczyk said she had been contacted by many residents about the state of the Capital’s bins.
She said: “Residents are encouraged to report any flytipping or waste to the City of Edinburgh Council waste services for action, but the responsibility can no longer only lie with the individuals, and something more has to be done to include more frequent bin emptying and general improvements to the way of life.
“The City of Edinburgh Council really needs to invest in environmental wardens to look after certain areas and chase up issues such as overflowing bins or waste that have been left, and they would also be able to do on the spot fines, such as not clearing up dog foul.
"This will go a long way in improving the Council services, I’m working with the council to do everything we can to tackle this because Edinburgh is not a dumping ground, but our home.”
Councillor Lesley Macinnes, environment convener, said: “Our teams work hard all year round keeping our beautiful city clean and tidy for everyone to enjoy. The excess waste on Castlehill was reported to us and has been cleaned up. We’d encourage everyone if a bin is full to find another one or take their waste home with them.
“The overflowing bins and litter on Niddry Street are trade waste. It’s the responsibility of every business to dispose of their waste correctly but we’ve cleaned it up on this occasion and our enforcement team will remind the business of their responsibility to dispose of their waste appropriately. We’ve don’t currently have any reports of litter or overflowing bins on Cockburn Street.”
Published in Edinburgh News | 22nd March 2022