A campaign to discourage the dumping of bulky items like fridges and mattresses on streets has seen more people than ever taking responsibility for their waste.
The third phase of Our Edinburgh, held over February and March in the Gorgie and Dalry area – a fly-tipping hotspot - encouraged the use of the Council’s special uplift service for disposing of unwanted furniture or appliances.
During this period requests for special uplifts increased by 30% compared to the same time last year. This follows the introduction of a new charging structure for uplifts - £5 per item, instead of £26 for up to six items.
In addition, the campaign successfully targeted litter-dropping in the area, resulting in an 18% drop in complaints, and dog fouling, about which there were 5% fewer complaints following the Gorgie/Dalry phase.
Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: “As the Our Edinburgh campaign reaches different parts of the city it clearly continues to have a positive impact on people’s behaviour when it comes to disposing of rubbish responsibly.
“There is still much work to be done to dissuade persistent offenders from littering, failing to pick up after their dogs or illegally dumping rubbish but we’ve found that our creative approach is going some way to encouraging people’s pride in their local community.
“What’s more, by making it easier and cheaper to use our special uplift service, we’re beginning to see the effects citywide – in February 44% more people in Edinburgh requested an uplift compared to the same time last year.”
Throughout the four-week drive to reduce anti-social behaviour officers contacted households in more than 25 streets, issuing over 4000 leaflets to residents providing information on responsible disposal of rubbish. Other methods of engagement included street stencils, bin branding and videos on social media engendering pride in the local environment.
Businesses were also a focus, with 75% of the 80 visited found not to have the correct waste collection contracts in place and subsequently issued warning notices. This phase of Our Edinburgh saw a total of 13 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) given out – nine £200 FPNs to non-compliant businesses, three for litter-dropping and one for dog fouling (£80 each).
Our Edinburgh was first launched in the city centre over summer 2016, 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.
The second phase of the initiative focused on traders’ abuse of communal bins, fly-tipping and litter in the Leith Walk area. Investigation by environmental wardens found more than 50% of businesses not to have the correct trade waste contracts in place, while visits by the public to web pages for arranging special uplifts increased significantly.
Actions support the Council’s new Waste and Cleansing Improvement Plan, and have run alongside a community engagement plan led by Waste Services and the South West Locality Team.
Find out more about the Council’s waste and street cleansing services online.