In Edinburgh we want to reduce our waste, reuse and recycle. One of Labour’s top priorities is to keep our city clean. Not just the city Centre but in all our communities. This Labour-led Council has plans, taken action and implemented a Waste and Cleansing Improvement Plan. This has seen an overall reduction in missed collections, as well as an increase in the percentage of street cleansing enquiries addressed within the timescale.

This comes alongside the latest Cleanliness of the City report, which scored 97% of Edinburgh’s streets clean, improving on 92% in September and 95% in June.

One of the proposals within the plan is to change the charges for Special Uplifts for bulky items from £26 for up to six items to £5 per item. It is hoped that the change will encourage residents to use the service, in turn reducing the incidence of fly-tipping of large items.

We have already achieved the identification of the root causes for the most missed communal and kerbside bins; increased supervision over bin collections to improve quality and added extra resource to remove fly-tipping more quickly.

We are now looking to implement a full training programme for frontline staff, the procurement of new, larger food waste recycling vehicles to meet demand and review street cleansing routes and resources to address hotspots.

All of this has been achieved within the context of a reduction of £7 million in the budget, as a result of Scottish Government cuts.


Key improvements achieved so far include:

  • Rapid improvement event to identify the most missed properties by stream and resolve the root cause of the misses
  • Cease the practice of ‘task and finish’ across Waste Collection Service
  • Increase supervision resource within the communal bin collection services to improve service quality and resolve customer issues more effectively
  • Identify new routes and options for ‘barrow beat’ staff
  • Additional night shift for mechanical street sweeping duties
  • Ongoing trial of bin fill sensors
  • Additional resources for special uplift and street cleansing services to address fly-tipping and special uplift waiting times


Key actions for the future:

  • Development of a five-year training programme for frontline staff
  • Communications campaigns to ensure that businesses and residents in communal areas are aware of their responsibilities when disposing of their waste
  • Ensuring access to communal bins for residents and waste collection staff
  • Identify solutions to procure contract for supply and maintenance of communal bins
  • Conduct a review of Waste and Cleansing resource requirements for the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe
  • Replace the existing 7.5 tonne food waste recycling vehicles with 12 tonne vehicles to increase collection capacity
  • Procure replacement street cleansing vans allowing crews to be properly equipped
  • Undertaking review of special uplift service, particularly the charging structure, proposing £5 per item charge
  • Focus resources from the Environment Warden and Waste Compliance Teams on regularly investigating incidents of fly-tipping
  • Continue successful ‘Our Edinburgh’ campaign focusing on social responsibility and community participation