Investing in a cleaner, greener Edinburgh

City of Edinburgh Council has committed to creating a cleaner, greener city by protecting frontline environmental services and investing in sustainable energy in this year’s budget.

Spending in areas like street cleansing and refuse collection will be maintained, with new initiatives encouraging recycling helping to save money on landfill costs.

The Council also plans to develop a new Energy Services Company (ESCO), ‘Energy for Edinburgh’, aiming to mitigate the impacts of fuel poverty, improve efficiencies and reduce carbon emissions.

To finance the scheme, £150,000 of Scottish Government/Scottish Enterprise funding will be sought, which will be matched by £150,000 from the Council.

Further environmental benefits will be delivered by the Zero Waste project, for which further funding was approved for the period 2015-20, and is scheduled for completion by 2018.

The plant, based at Millerhill, Midlothian, will include state-of-the-art resources to treat both food and landfill waste on-site, creating energy from waste in the process. This will help partner authorities Edinburgh and Midlothian to reach the national landfill diversion target of 95% by 2025.

Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: “Keeping Edinburgh a clean and attractive place to live and visit is one of our priorities, and this has been reflected in this year’s budget, which protects essential services like rubbish collection and street cleansing.

“We also aim to make the capital a truly sustainable city, which will be supported by our plan to invest in an energy services company, alongside initiatives to get the public recycling.”

The Council budget was agreed by councillors on Thursday, 12th February, after extensive consultation, with 3525 people commenting on draft proposals and 1719 taking part in Edinburgh’s Budget Challenge.

As a result of feedback, a number of proposals were updated to reflect public opinion, including the decision to continue collecting garden waste over winter and maintaining the current allotment charges. 

Councillor Hinds added: “It is important to us that we involve the people of Edinburgh when deciding where to spend and save - that’s why we’ve listened to their feedback when setting the budget for 2015/16.”

Read full saving and spending details on the Council website

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