LOCALS FUMING ABOUT GREAT BIG NEW BINS

UNRELIABLE BIN COLLECTIONS LEAVES EDINBURGH RESIDENTS IN THE DUMPS

Dog dirt and unreliable bin collections are leaving residents across Edinburgh down in the dumps, according to a survey.

Satisfaction rates for street cleaning, refuse collection and dealing with dog fouling are all down on recent years.

And Edinburgh City councillors have admitted there is “room for improvement”.

The results have been published as part of the latest annual Edinburgh People’s Survey for 2015.

While 96 per cent of people said they liked living in the city overall, the cleanliness of Edinburgh’s streets have concerned people.

Satisfaction with bin collections has plummeted from 86 per cent in 2011 to just 70 per cent in 2015 last year.

In the 2013 survey, 84 per cent of residents were satisfied with street cleaning but only 64 per cent felt the same in 2015.

Council leader Andrew Burns acknowledged concerns about bin collections, which have prompted recent complaints.

He said: “The shift to fortnightly collections, despite its challenges, has led to a huge upturn in the percentage of waste going to recycling and a big downturn in the percentage we’re chucking into holes in the ground in terms of landfill.

“That’s good for all of us as Edinburgh council taxpayers because we’re paying less landfill tax.

“There are other local authorities doing better than us, but I don’t think there’s another city of our scale doing as much as we are.

“There is room for improvement but the trends are going in the right direction.”

Dog fouling is a big source of concern for Edinburgh’s residents with just 46 per cent saying they are satisfied with the council’s management of the issue.

In the last two years, complaints have doubled from an average of 100 per month to 200 per month.

Council officials believe the growing amount of complaints may reflect less public tolerance of the problem rather than an increase in the amount of dog dirt.

Gerry Farrell, co-founder of Leithers Don’t Litter, said: “I’ve no idea whether there is less or more fouling, but what I do know is it is not being dealt with.

“You can double, treble or quadruple fines, but if these fines are not enforced – and they certainly are not being in any number – people will continue to leave their dog mess with impunity.

“Until the council does something bold like compulsory DNA testing we’re going to be stuck with this problem.”

There was some good news for the council however.

Satisfaction levels with public transport are up to 88 per cent in 2015 compared to 81 per cent the year before.

It also found that 86-87 per cent of people were satisfied with schools in the city.

The survey found that students and the retired people were the most satisfied with Edinburgh as a place to live, at 98 per cent and 96 per cent respectively.

Cllr Burns added: “There are still areas of concern, particularly in light of ongoing financial constraints and an increasing demand for services, and it is our intention to act on the feedback gleaned from the survey to improve the city for everyone.”

The survey was based on face-to-face interviews with 5,170 adults across the city.

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