Trade waste scheme clears city streets of clutter

The second phase of an initiative to rid Edinburgh’s streets of business waste has seen the number of trade bins being kept in public drop by 73%.

The Street Scene project, introduced in October 2014, prevents businesses from permanently storing their bins in public, requiring the presentation of rubbish and recycling on the street for collection for a limited period at certain times of day.

Aiming to improve the appearance of the capital’s streets, the scheme was first trialled in several city centre locations in 2013, and saw the number of bins stored permanently fall by 80% during the period.

Following this the initiative was adopted as policy and rolled out across the city on a phased basis. The most recent phase, involving 10 Council wards and more than 10,000 businesses, saw the number of bins being stored on the street dropping from 1571 to 416– a reduction of 73%.

Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: “The latest figures are very encouraging and prove just what a difference the Street Scene initiative has made in the city.

“You only have to look at the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures of the streets involved to see the improvement, and I know that businesses will feel the positive impact tidy surroundings can have. 

“We are committed to maintaining a clean and uncluttered atmosphere in Edinburgh, and this is just one of many measures we are taking to achieve this. We will continue to liaise with businesses to ensure they are able to comply with the restrictions.”

Throughout the Street Scene project, officers have worked closely with businesses and waste contractors to provide information and support to help them meet the new requirements. The third and final phase will be implemented in the remaining six wards over the coming months.

Since its introduction, the initiative’s success has been recognised by Keep Scotland Beautiful, who awarded it a Local Environmental Quality Award in March 2016, as well as being shortlisted in the Best Litter Prevention Initiative category for the Scottish Resources Awards.

Efforts to reduce the impact of trade waste have been supported by the introduction of a new Waste Compliance Team in Edinburgh, who tackle illegal waste disposal by businesses. Officers will also assist Environmental Wardens to enforce the Street Scene policy.

Members of the City of Edinburgh Council's Transport and Environment Committee will consider a report updating on the scheme on Tusday, 1 November.

Find out more about commercial bins and recycling on the Council website.


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