When Edinburgh Labour took responsibility for cleansing in the city from the previous Lib-Dem/SNP Council, the service had gone through years of uncertainty with the threat of privatisation. After spending millions of pounds on this proposed change, with staff morale at an all time low, they abandoned the idea. Labour was left to pick up the mess.
Labour has over the past 5 years made the service more efficient, with resources going to the front line and a leaner management. This was recently recognized by Audit Scotland. Edinburgh was one of the top performing Councils, by reducing the cost per resident. Labour in Edinburgh’s aim is to reduce our waste, re-use and recycle. Our top priority is to keep our city clean, in all our communities.
This Labour-led Council has taken action and implemented a Waste and Cleansing Improvement Plan and for example has:
- Reduced missed collections, with 0.17% of collections resulting in a customer complaint
- Changed charges for Special Uplifts for bulky items to £5 per item, resulting in a massive increase in the use of the service and a reduction in fly-tipping. Edinburgh Labour pledges to scrap the bulky uplift charge altogether.
As for recycling, rates continue to climb in the capital:
- Increased recycling from both individual homes and on street facilities, which has resulted in 45% waste now being recycled. We aim to increase this to 60%.
- We send less waste to landfill, saving the city money.
- A new food waste plant is operating and producing compost for the land and clean energy.
- A new residual waste plant is being built, which will mean no waste going to landfill.
- We have introduced new kerbside dry mixed and glass recycling collections to more than 140,000 households.
- Waste recycled in communal packaging bins serving flats and tenements has risen significantly.
Edinburgh Labour will further:
- Aim for an 80% reduction in Trade Waste bin clutter, on our streets.
- Continue the Trade Waste Team, to ensure businesses are responsible for their waste and not using residents’ communal bins.
- Continue to invest in our staff by providing new staff facilities, new supervisors, new in-cab technology and recruiting permanent staff to the service. We want to continue to keep the service in-house, investing in our staff and service.
- Continue the successful roll-out of the ‘Our Edinburgh’ campaign, to discourage anti-social behaviour like fly-tipping and littering.
- Provide an additional night shift for mechanical street sweeping duties.
- Launch the innovative trial of bin fill sensors, which ensures litter bin uplifts when needed.
- Increase Environmental Wardens to deal with dog fouling, fly tipping and litter dropping.
- Work with community partnerships, for example “Leither’s Don’t Litter”
- Increase barrow beats and continue to invest in the service in our communities.
Councillor Ian Perry
Edinburgh Labour's Planning Spokesperson