Festivals cleansing pays off with waste calls halved in city centre
Complaints over key waste and litter issues across the city during this year’s summer festivals dropped by almost a third compared to 2016, the latest figures have shown.
Enquiries to the City of Edinburgh Council on street cleaning, fly-tipping, dog fouling and communal bins during August decreased by 32% from the same time last year.
In the city centre, which poses a significant challenge due to the sharp increase in visitors over the busy period, complaints were halved - falling by 53%.
Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “These are encouraging figures, they demonstrate the impact our efforts to improve waste and cleansing services are having, not just in the centre but across the city.
“By increasing resources around the busy festival period we have been able to cope better with demand, but we want to continue to target issues like litter and fly-tipping throughout the year. While we are working on actions to achieve this, we also need the help of the public, so I would encourage people to take responsibility for their rubbish and help make Edinburgh a clean, welcoming place, whatever the season.”
A 65-point Waste and Cleansing Improvement Plan, approved by the Council’s Transport and Environment Committee in November 2016, aims to address perceived poor quality in the waste collection and street cleansing services through a series of actions focusing on various aspects, including waste collection routing, workforce training and communal bin provision.
Additional resources were also put in place throughout August to help deal with festivals' impact, with an extra 40 street cleansing staff joining the existing 90 to provide 24-7 support, as well as more frequent litter bin collections and increased patrols by environmental wardens to discourage litter-dropping and fly-tipping.
Running alongside festival activity, the Our Edinburgh campaign, which aims to encourage pride in local communities, featured a series of comedy-themed posters, online videos, ‘bin me’ stickers for takeaway packaging and popular ‘ballot’ cigarette bins designed to promote responsible rubbish disposal.
Since its launch in summer 2016, Our Edinburgh has targeted hotspots for issues like dog fouling, fly-tipping and businesses’ misuse of communal bins via a range of measures, including direct contact with residents and businesses, street stencils, bin branding and videos on social media.
Find out more about reporting litter on the Council website.