Campaign to end misuse of communal bins launches on Leith Walk

A drive to tackle rubbish, fly-tipping and dumped trade waste on city streets was kicked off this week.

The second phase of the Our Edinburgh initiative, which aims to address anti-social behaviour like littering, has begun in the Leith Walk area, identified as a hotspot for overflowing bin complaints.

Activity will focus on the misuse of communal bins by traders, as well as making residents aware of how to properly dispose of their waste, helping to reduce incidences of overflowing communal bins, fly-tipping and litter.

On Wednesday (16 November), enforcement officers paid a visit to Elm Rose Café and Diner on Elm Row, where they found all adequate trade waste collection arrangements were in place.

Amongst measures to raise awareness are a targeted communications campaign, including radio adverts, social media, posters and branding for communal bins, and the increased presence of environmental wardens in the area, who will be on hand to provide information and guidance. A team of task force staff were also carrying out a 'deep clean' of the street during the first week.

Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: “We’re making a real effort to address issues with waste and cleansing in the capital, and the Our Edinburgh campaign is central to changing behaviour around things like litter-dropping and fly-tipping.

“By helping residents and businesses around Leith Walk to understand what can and can’t be disposed of in communal bins, amongst other measures, we really want to reduce the unsightly and frustrating problem of overflowing bins in the area.”  

The first phase of Our Edinburgh, run over the summer, targeted litter-droppers in the city centre with brightly-coloured bins, portable ashtrays and ‘bin me’ labels for takeaway packaging. It also saw the installation of popular ‘ballot bins’ which encouraged people to vote with their (cigarette) butts on a series of fun and topical questions.

Ballot bins, along with colourful signage on litter bins and takeaway stickers, will make a return for phase two of the campaign, as well as signage on communal bins discouraging traders from illegally dumping waste and information for residents on how to dispose of rubbish correctly. 

It is hoped the initiative will replicate the success of the first phase, which saw a 52% increase in the amount of litter collected from bins.

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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