Edinburgh Council’s Waste & Cleansing Service has undertaken a review of communal bin services across the city, including the New Town. This includes a wider review of waste management services currently offered to residents. The broad intent is to bring about improvements to a service that is widely seen by residents to be inadequate.
To date, there has been little or no consultation with residents in the New Town and less than adequate consultation elsewhere in the City about these proposals, in contrast to what has been done in the past.
While the Council’s proposals are aimed at promoting a much welcomed increase in recycling capacity, this is intended to be achieved through siting groups of communal bins in fixed “bin hubs” across the New Town. Each ‘bin hub’ will consist of up to six bins for Food, Glass & Recycling along with General (non-recyclable) Waste. The initial proposals state that these will be set out either in lines along the kerb (up to 8 metres in length) or in a square configuration (approx 4 metres by 4 metres). These ‘hubs’ will serve about 50 properties and be located so that each one is no more than 50 metres walking distance from any property. The Council also intends to cease doorstep collections on certain streets for Food, Glass and Recyclables – as well as end the use of the Gull Proof Sack service for approximately 2,500 homes in the New Town.
There is a “drop-in” session for the Broughton area covering these proposals at Broughton St Mary Church on Bellevue Crescent on Wednesday 17 November between 9:45 am -1:45 pm. Although we are aware that some residents have now received notification of this very recently, many others may not be aware of either the current proposal or the opportunity being available to discuss with Council officers the details of what’s proposed.
Whilst this may not be a convenient time for some, we would encourage everyone who can to go along to get a better understanding of what is being proposed and make their views known.
However, it’s important to recognise that these are ‘Information Events’ and not consultations – their purpose is to ‘advise local residents about what the bin hubs will look like and answer questions’. The Council believes that they have already carried out sufficient “opinion gathering” from local residents and this has already informed their proposals. It’s also worth noting that these proposals are now well advanced, having been approved, at least in principle, by the Council’s Transport & Environment Committee in April.
NTBCC continue to believe that it is essential that local residents should be properly consulted (and not just informed) on changes to a basic Council service. We are therefore encouraging everyone – whatever their views – to make their opinions known directly to the Council, either through these events or by contacting their local ward Councillor.
Also worth noting that there is also another ‘drop-in’ session aimed at New Town residents on Friday 26 November, from 11 am to 3 pm, at the Rose Theatre cafe.
NTBCC are aware of significant concerns that have been voiced to these proposals. There is considerable anger over the removal, without consultation, of the Gull Proof Bag service which operates efficiently in many areas and across the whole of the New Town, the proposed bin hubs will constitute a significant nuisance for those properties adjacent to the hubs, potentially attract more fly-tipping, create large collections of ‘street clutter’ at frequent intervals along streets and seriously degrade the streetscape of the World Heritage site and New Town Conservation area. We are also as yet unconvinced that these proposals will actually resolve the major problem of overflowing bins in areas that have communal bins.
Consequently, we are also urging residents to contact local councillors to make their views known on the Council’s proposals to impose this on residents, while appearing to be consciously avoiding proper consultation.
The local Edinburgh Central MSP, Angus Robertson, is also taking a keen interest in the issue and has set up his own survey. It seems to still be open and is well worth completing as well as contacting local ward councillors – the survey can be accessed here https://angusrobertson.scot/surveys/.
Finally, although there has been limited information available on these proposals to date, the latest information on Edinburgh Council’s website can be accessed here.