Councillors agree action plan to improve waste services

The City of Edinburgh Council's Transport and Environment Committee has agreed a comprehensive action plan to improve the city’s waste and cleansing services.

Councillors rubber-stamped the 65-point plan today (Tuesday, 1 November).

Efforts focus on a number of key areas including missed and delayed bin collections, communal bins, fly-tipping and street cleansing and litter.

Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: “Waste and cleansing services are a real priority for the Council, and we appreciate the frustration residents feel when their collections are missed or when they notice overflowing communal bins – this isn’t acceptable.

“That’s why we’ve drawn up this action plan, which will allow us to target hotspots and to focus our resources on tackling the biggest issues systematically, maintaining a clean and welcoming atmosphere for everyone.”

The Council’s waste and street-cleansing services have undergone a period of significant change over recent years, following changes to collection frequencies, the introduction of food waste collections, new shift patterns which have seen services delivered seven days a week and the successful roll-out of a new kerbside recycling service to more than 140,000 households. 

The Council’s Transformation Programme has also resulted in a new management structure and revised job descriptions introduced for all staff in the service.

While these developments have delivered many benefits, the Council is aware that services have experienced a decline in customer satisfaction and a rise in complaints, which need to be addressed.

The series of actions, which aim to increase customer satisfaction and reduce complaints, will be implemented over the coming months, with some already in place.

Waste and Cleansing Improvement Plan – key areas

Missed and delayed collections

Actions include: Introduction of new in-cab routing system to improve efficiency
Identify most missed properties and resolve root causes
Ensure a full and effective training programme for frontline staff

Communal bins

Actions include: Identify most missed communal bins that attract the most complaints and resolve root causes
Develop communications to make residents aware of how to dispose of waste properly
Ensure adequate access to all communal bins
Investigate use of QR codes for reporting missed and overflowing bins
Identify potential solutions for supply and repair of communal bins 

Street cleansing and litter

Actions include: Reviewing resources available and realigning routes to address hotspots
Introducing inspections to ensure cleansing meets standards
Increase mechanical sweeping resource overnight to address areas that cannot be accessed during the day 
Increase capacity of litter bins where possible
Continue bin sensors trial

Fly-tipping and dumped waste

Actions include: Undertake a review of special uplift charge
Improve information for residents on the disposal of bulky items
Focus resources on regularly investigating incidents and consider CCTV

Reports from the Transport and Environment Committee are available on the Council website.

Find out more about the Council’s waste and street cleansing services online.

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