Campaign takes action to tackle overflowing bins

A drive to crack down on traders’ misuse of communal bins around Leith Walk has exposed more than 50% of businesses checked breaking rules.

Of the 406 traders visited by compliance officers in the first two weeks of the Our Edinburgh campaign’s second phase, which aims to address anti-social behaviour like litter and fly-tipping, 215  were found not to have the correct waste collection contracts in place.

Further investigation revealed that some communal bins, meant for residents, were up to 75% full of trade waste, resulting in overflowing rubbish.

A detailed inspection of one bin at Bernard Street, which has been reported to fill up more quickly than any other bin in the area, found 75% of its contents to be trade waste. The investigation led to officers identifying five businesses, each of which has been issued a £200 Fixed Penalty Notice.

Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: “We have focused phase two of Our Edinburgh on the Leith Walk area as it’s been identified as a hotspot for overflowing bin complaints and it’s becoming clear why.

“Communal bins are meant for residents’ household waste so it’s unacceptable that businesses are abusing the system, which undoubtedly results in overflowing bins, litter and fly-tipping.

“That’s why this campaign aims to provide information and advice to businesses in order to ensure they have the right waste collection arrangements in place, as well as penalising those that continue to break the rules.”

During the first two weeks of the campaign the contents of a further three bins have been examined by Waste Compliance Officers – two on the corner of Balfour Street and Leith Walk and one across the road from this. These were revealed to be 40-50% full of trade waste connected to five more businesses, which will now receive Fixed Penalty Notices.

Officers will continue analysing bin contents throughout December to identify any trade waste.

This is the second phase of Our Edinburgh, which first ran in the city centre over summer targeting litter-droppers with brightly-coloured bin branding and popular ‘ballot’ bins encouraging people to vote with their (cigarette) butts on a series of questions.

As well as businesses, this phase focuses on local residents, providing information on how to properly dispose of waste, helping to reduce incidences of overflowing communal bins, fly-tipping and litter.

Actions will support the Council’s new Waste and Cleansing Improvement Plan, and will run alongside an enforcement campaign to ensure traders are waste compliant. As part of this, wardens are visiting businesses to check the necessary waste collection contracts are in place.

Find out more about the Council’s waste and street cleansing services online, including information for businesses.

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