Residents urged to help as Edinburgh cleans up

A recent deep clean of Edinburgh's streets has led to an improvement in cleanliness scores - and the public are being urged to help keep the city presentable.

The clean-up, which focused on streets and pavements in every ward across the city, has resulted in an increase in marks awarded by the Cleanliness Index Monitoring System (CIMS), an independent assessment conducted by Keep Scotland Beautiful.

The percentage of streets deemed as clean has increased from 90% to 96% since December 2011.

Environmental task force staff targeted main issues of concern to the public, such as:

  • Fast food litter;
  • Cigarette butts;
  • Fly tipping;
  • Graffiti;
  • Dog fouling;
  • Weeds

In order to keep standards of cleanliness high, the City of Edinburgh Council is now urging the public to play their part and get involved in the Edinburgh Spring Clean.

Litter picking equipment, refuse sacks, gloves and bins are being provided free of charge by the Council to any community groups and individuals wanting to get stuck in and tidy up areas of concern in their neighbourhood.

This initiative will launch at the same time as Keep Scotland Beautiful's National Spring Clean on April 1, but will run throughout the year. Posters and leaflets will soon be on display to let people know exactly how they can get involved.

It was set up after local communities told the Council that being clean, green and safe are priorities which they believe will improve their quality of life. The scheme should help to raise awareness of the constant work going on to keep the Capital litter-free.

Another example of engaging the public to help keep their community clean was a recent three-week Twitter campaign. This pilot scheme involved staff from each neighbourhood office live tweeting their work. People then used the social networking site to direct staff to areas of concern so that they could deal with them quickly. The scheme received positive feedback and reached more than 23,000 Twitter accounts in the first day alone.

Councillor Robert Aldridge, Environment Leader, said:

"Task forces have been working hard to address areas of concern in order to make the city more presentable for residents and visitors alike, and this is reflected in more streets being classed as officially clean. However, we cannot be complacent and must keep working hard to keep standards high, and we can do this with the public's help.

"Feedback shows that people care about their local environment, and I would like to remind people that they can cooperate by disposing of litter properly and cleaning up after their pets."

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. The CIMS is conducted by Keep Scotland Beautiful and measures a range of indicators including dog fouling, vandalism, graffiti, weeds, flyposting and flytipping as well as different types of litter including cigarette ends, fast food litter, sweet wrappers and drinks containers.
2. The March 2012 CIMS scores (with December 2011 results in brackets):
City centre/Leith
Score - 67(62), clean - 95%(86%);East
Score - 70(68), clean - 95%(90%);
South West
Score - 73(71), clean - 98%(92%);
South
Score - 70(68), clean - 98%(88%);
North
Score - 69(69), clean - 93%(96%).

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