Communal Waste And Recycling Service Set For Redesign

Edinburgh’s communal bin collection system is set to be redesigned to improve the service for thousands of residents across the city, subject to approval by Transport and Environment Committee on Thursday (5 December).

As part of the shake-up, a trial would see communal landfill and packaging bin collections increased to every other day, as opposed to the current average rate of twice weekly.

Bin locations across the city will also be reviewed, with the aim of creating more formalised waste points, co-locating landfill and recycling bins in optimum locations to help facilitate more recycling.

It is hoped the scheme, which would be rolled out over the next three years, will address issues around overflowing bins, missed collections and fly-tipping.

Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said:

This is a major project to enhance the communal bin system in Edinburgh. By increasing the frequency of collections, we hope to vastly improve the service, reducing the occurrence of overflowing bins and associated litter, which I know is a frustrating and unsightly issue for residents and visitors alike.

Under our Waste and Cleansing Improvement Plan we made a commitment to provide an efficient, accessible waste collection service for the city’s residents. This project will go some way to achieving this, tightening up the way we make collections while providing greater opportunities to recycle waste, and I look forward to receiving the results of the trial.

If approved, the trial to collect on-street bins every other day would take place in a select area of the Leith Walk ward. By increasing the frequency of collections, it is expected that the number of communal bins – and the associated maintenance and replacement costs – could be reduced by up to 25%.

While communal bin complaints to the Council amount to around just 1% of 100,000 collections a month, this is higher than those relating to individual kerbside collections, which has been attributed to a number of factors. These include businesses’ misuse of communal bins, double parking next to bins, resulting in failed collections, and the proliferation of short term lets in the capital, placing strain on existing bins.

The commitment to review communal bins was made as part of the Waste and Cleansing Improvement Plan, approved by Transport and Environment Committee in November 2016.

The review will be supported by the results of a recent survey commissioned by the Council and carried out by Changeworks, which aimed to better understand how residents currently use the communal bin service, particularly recycling.

As part of the project, officers will also investigate alternative communal bin collection methods, in addition to the potential for new bin housings and providing shared bin and cycle storage.

Read the full report to Transport and Environment Committee on the Council website.

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