City streets take centre stage as curtain goes down on successful festival

A new independent survey has shown that the streets in the city centre were at their cleanest ever during this year's festivals. The independent CIMS survey, conducted by Keep Scotland Beautiful in late August, audited 58 sites across the centre of town scoring them individually. The overall score came out at 67 - the highest city centre score ever achieved.

The survey measures the number of a wide range of indicators, including dog fouling, vandalism, graffiti, weeds, flyposting and flytipping as well as the prevalence of different types of litter including cigarette ends, fast food litter, sweet wrappers and drinks containers.

This year, various measures, including a crackdown on cigarette butts and chewing gum, have being taken in the city centre to boost cleanliness. Thousands of personal pouches for disposal of these items were handed out to businesses and individuals. Extra bins were installed in key locations to tackle the increase in litter generated by the hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Environmental wardens took a tough stance on littering during August where 124 fixed penalty notices and nearly 100 verbal warning were handed out to people for littering and other offences. The Council provided a 24/7 operation throughout the Festival period for street cleaning and litter bin emptying. Effectively, a larger cleaning programme than ever before.

A new initiative, which provided legal advertising sites to festival venues, has also been instrumental in ridding the city of fly-posters. Not only does this result in a cleaner, tidier city but it allows fringe and festival promoters to advertise their shows in highly-visible locations. Finally, key city centre streets were cleaned of all graffiti in the days before the festival and graffiti proof paints were applied to hot spots as a preventative measure.

Councillor Robert Aldridge, Environment Leader, said: "I am delighted that these latest figures show that the City Centre is cleaner than ever. This is particularly impressive when you realise the survey was conducted right in the middle of Edinburgh 's busiest period. Our staff have been working extremely hard to keep the city at its best.

"The vast majority of Edinburgh residents and visitors deserve a big thank you for using litter bins, keeping vigilant and letting us know about grafitti and other litter issues. We are also determined to continue to take the strongest possible action against the irresponsible minority who continue to litter our beautiful city."

 Director of Festivals Edinburgh, Faith Liddell appreciated the efforts of the City Centre staff. She said: "It's not only the artists and performers, but Edinburgh itself that is the centre of attention in August. We sincerely appreciate the commitment of the Environment Team, who put in a five star performance to make sure that Edinburgh looked deserving of its reputation as the world's Festival city during one of our busiest years ever."

Donna Niven, Programme Manager at Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented: "We are pleased that the City of Edinburgh Council continue to monitor and act on litter levels within the city. Litter is an ongoing battle that we all need to work to reduce and I would urge all residents and visitors to do their bit and use the bins provided".

Notes to editors, The City of Edinburgh Council allocates approximately £10 million per year for litter collection, litter bin emptying, street washing, graffiti removal and other city cleaning services.

CIMS is an independent street cleansing survey that applies standard monitoring techniques. It allows Local Authorities to see variations in their street cleanliness from survey to survey, so that they can react accordingly by adjusting cleansing regimes to reach set targets.

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