Response to the Council’s Waste Management Strategy : Proposed ‘5 Year Collaborative Plan’ for the New Town

Adapted from an email sent  by NTBCC (acting both on behalf of and with many local residents’ associations) to all Edinburgh councillors prior to a possible further discussion on this matter at the next Transport & Environment Committee meeting on 27th January.

Thank you to the councillors who have taken the time to respond – although it’s apparent from some of the responses that further discussion may be required to ensure that the concerns being voiced are fully understood.  

We would urge all residents who would be impacted by this to read the attachments accessible in the highlighted links at the foot of this letter. 

Dear Councillor
The Council’s “Information Events” have shown that residents of the New Town are very unhappy with the City of Edinburgh Council’s plans to start storing rubbish on Edinburgh’s beautiful Georgian streets in Communal Bin Hubs.

Surprisingly the Communal Bin Hub Review did not look at how other historic cities manage recycling, so we have carried out our own research.

It is clear there are better ways forward – and the attached report sets out the details. It is possible to manage recycling well in a World Heritage City without damaging the streetscape.

The strength of residents’ opposition to the Councils plans is also clear, not least from the recent “Information Events”. The minor adjustments, which we understand are currently being considered by council officials in response to this opposition, are totally inadequate.

Imposing large numbers of bins, in beautiful, ordered Georgian streets, will be hugely damaging to these streetscapes, to the amenity of residents and to Edinburgh’s reputation. The evidence for any benefit is weak.

We are asking City of Edinburgh Council to fulfil its duty to manage the World Heritage Site – by pausing the rollout of Communal Bin Hubs to allow a new plan to be developed. This should draw on best practice both in the United Kingdom and abroad, with input from heritage specialists and residents.

To ensure increased recycling and to protect the New Town, we have prepared ‘Waste Management in Edinburgh’s New Town; a Five Year Collaborative Plan,’ a catalyst for a better approach. With a broader analysis and the opportunity to work with residents and heritage specialists constructively, we are certain Edinburgh could produce imaginative solutions in which the City could take pride.

We urge you as a Councillor to think of the example you are setting in the stewardship of the World Heritage Site and pause the rollout of Communal Bin Hubs in the New Town, and in particular, those streets currently using gull-proof bags.

We would be happy to meet with Councillors to discuss these issues in more detail.

Carol Nimmo

Chair – New Town & Broughton Community Council, working with New Town Residents’ Associations

Please see attached:

  1. Summary Report to Councillors
  2. Waste Management in Edinburgh’s New Town : 5 Year Collaborative Plan (N.B. a long read)