Edinburgh keeping it clean for the Festival

Measures to keep the city’s streets clean over the festival period are already under way in the Capital. 

Festival cleansing

In an effort to boost cleansing resources the City of Edinburgh Council has enlisted an additional 60 street cleaning staff to assist the 24-7 cleansing service in the Old and New Town.

They have joined the 90 existing staff who are responsible for cleaning 180km of streets and emptying 500 bins across the city centre. 

As well as increased staffing, the Council has installed extra large waste containers in key locations to up litter bin capacity over the busy summer months, while the servicing of underground ‘silo’ bins in Princes Street Gardens will be increased from twice per fortnight to twice weekly.

For the first time, many of the 500 litter bins in the city centre have also been fitted with sensors as part of a year long trial, allowing fill rates to be monitored and bin servicing adjusted accordingly. 

Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: “Each summer we’re lucky to welcome many thousands of people to enjoy our beautiful city and, drawing on experience from previous years, we know we need to make sure we have the appropriate resources in place for this.

“This year we’re making every effort to ensure the city is kept as clean and tidy as possible during the period, and we’ve kick-started our activities early to cope with demands during the warmer weather.

“That said, it’s also down to the public to help us to make Edinburgh the welcoming place it is, so we’ll be encouraging everyone to take responsibility for their own litter too.”

From July until September, additional cleansing staff will mainly carry out ‘barrow beat’ duties throughout the day. A night time services crew will also be on hand to service litter bins and trade waste near pubs, clubs and fast food shops.

As well as an increase in street-cleaning operatives, extra environmental wardens will be deployed in the City Centre and South Central wards during August to deal with community safety matters and environmental crimes such as littering and fly-tipping.

A focused communications drive will run over the summer, aimed at discouraging littering as part of #OUREdinburgh, a longer term campaign to change behaviour around issues like litter, fly-tipping and dog fouling. This will feature a series of comedy-themed posters and videos encouraging the public to dispose of rubbish responsibly, ‘bin me’ stickers for takeaway packaging and targeted social media promotion.

Find out more about reporting litter on the Council website.

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