New trials start for waste collection in the World Heritage Site

New waste collection trials are due to start in the World Heritage Site next week.

The pilots are part of a wider public consultation, which the Council undertook in January, looking at how to modernise the service in this very special historical area.

Working with local residents and community groups, the Council received good feedback on the different options for waste collection.

Now, a range of trials are due to start at different addresses for gull proof bags, extension of evening collections, communal containers, food waste collection and individual smaller bins.

Keeping in mind the visual impact of the city landscape, the trials will tackle local issues such as rubbish on the street and black bags being ripped open by seagulls and vermin. It is hoped the trials will also demonstrate an increase in recycling.

The trials will start in May 2011 and run for six to eight months.

Around 300 residents on Manor Place and Great King Street will receive gull proof bags.

There will also be an extension of evening collections for around 20,000 households in the Old Town, New Town and parts of Leith, with a range of collection methods being trialed.

More people are due to receive evening collections as the service area will be much larger and run over seven nights.

Studies into existing evening collections have shown a significant reduction in the amount of split refuse sacks, there is also a reduction in seagull and vermin attacks on waste awaiting collection. This results in streets staying cleaner for longer.

Individual smaller containers will be trailed in Cumberland Street with over 200 residents.

A food-recycling pilot was recently launched in 20,000 households across Edinburgh, which includes 3,500 residents in parts of the World Heritage Site.

Communal bins are also due to be piloted during May with further details to be announced soon.

Councillor Robert Aldridge, Environmental Leader, said: "The aim of this project is to find local solutions to local issues. These trials are all about improving the cleanliness and appearance of the city centre as well as increasing the options available for waste collection. Our aim is to deliver a 21st Century waste service for local residents with less litter and increased recycling and I am looking forward to hearing how these trials go."

Audrey Cavaye, New Town and Broughton Community Council, said: "I've had first hand exposure to the work the Council is undertaking to tackle the ongoing issue with waste management within the City Centre. Reviews and discussions have been held over a number of months to get feedback and views on differing solutions and the trials about to be undertaken are a culmination of that work. I congratulate the Council for the work they have done and the focus they have given this problem, although if residents in the area took a bit more care about when bags were left for collection, a great deal of this would not be required."

Marion Williams, Director of the Cockburn Association, said: "It is important as a World Heritage Site to provide a good quality environment for both residents and visitors, we all need to engage in sustainable practices and reduce the negative environmental impact of our activities in order to ensure continued enjoyment of this special environment. Focus should be on reducing the amount of waste produced the reuse of consumables where possible and the recycling of materials where appropriate and I welcome these trials as a means to finding solutions to the obvious problems we have here. I would hope that the lessons learned from these trials will inform wider responses across the City to the sustainable management of domestic waste."

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