Celebrating Edinburgh's community spirit

Binmen get into the festive spirit at Bankhead
Waste and Recycling staff gear up for Christmas collections

From the leaf-sweepers to the litter-pickers, the path-gritters to the parklovers, we're raising a festive toast to everyone who's mucked in in 2019 to support our work to keep Edinburgh beautiful.

Armies of volunteers dedicate thousands of hours of their free time each year to look after their local neighbourhoods, through Friend of Parks Groups, community clean-ups and conservation trusts, rounding up hundreds of tonnes of litter and leaves and helping to keep their local footpaths well-gritted when temperatures plummet. 

Environment Vice Convener Councillor Karen Doran said: 

"Three Christmas cheers all round for all the community groups and organisations who get stuck in come rain or shine to keep their local areas clean and tidy for everyone to enjoy. We invest several millions of pounds every year to sweep the streets, grit roads and pavements, maintain our parks and greenspaces and clear leaves, but we can't be everywhere at once - the help volunteered by our communities is absolutely invaluable. Thank you so much to everyone who's mucked in and made such a positive difference - you've done your city proud!"

One community group with a long track record of mucking in is the Friends of Burdiehouse Burn Valley Park. 

Donald Anderson of the Friends said:

"The ‘Big Spring Clean’ which took place this year was the biggest community clean-up ever in the Liberton/Gilmerton area. Thanks to the hard work of 11 organisations and with support of the council we cleared more than four tonnes of litter through what we calculated was 668 hours of community activity. As a result Burdiehouse Burn Valley Park was much cleaner and there was a significant improvement in our park assessment.

"My wish is that this year everyone’s New Year's resolutions include not dropping any litter and taking part in at least one community clean-up in Edinburgh, and at Burdiehouse we’re ready to do even better and we’ll keep the Green Flag flying high I’m sure."

Christmas cheers for our staff

As Edinburgh gets into the swing of another busy festive season, we're also sending a massive thank you to all our hardworking waste and cleansing staff who'll go the extra mile over Christmas and New Year. 

Cllr Doran added:

"Huge thanks to our bin collection staff, street-cleaners and recycling centre staff for the work they do all year round, and especially the extra mile they go at Christmas and New Year, when households tend to generate nearly a third more waste than at other times of the year. This year we've got extra reinforcements to help the teams thanks to the pause in garden waste collections until mid-January. We'd ask everyone to remind themselves of the festive arrangements for their bins and Christmas trees as well as the seasonal opening hours for our three Households Waste Recycling Centres."

Waste and Recycling Operative Kevin Jamieson said:

"I don’t mind working over Christmas and New Year, it’s good team spirit with the guys. It makes us feel proud to be helping keep our city looking tidy, making sure we get all the extra festive waste and recycling off the streets so it can be converted into energy at Millerhill or recycled into other stuff. Merry Christmas Edinburgh!”

Check our festive dates page to find out about collection arrangements, recycling tips and recycling centre opening hours over Christmas and New Year. 


Published: December 23rd 2019