Binmen ignore street as rubbish piles up

Graeme Gibson next to the mounting pile of rubbish. Picture: Greg Macvean

Graeme Gibson next to the mounting pile of rubbish. Picture: Greg Macvean

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RESIDENTS of a narrow Edinburgh street say rubbish is continually piling up outside their homes – because binmen are refusing to drive up their road.

The communal bins in Richmond Terrace, Dalry, are said to have been left unemptied for up to a month because of the problem, which residents say began when bin collection routes were changed last year.

Graeme Gibson, 30, said a pile-up of at least 50 bags had regularly been seen outside his home and he believes drivers recruited after the change have been unwilling to navigate his street when it is full of parked cars.

He said: “The place is disgusting and the smell is just rank. We have had rubbish strewn over the street by gulls and foxes.”

Mr Gibson said he had made dozens of calls to council staff but to no avail, and he said any temporary improvement in the situation was quickly reversed when refuse crews decided they could not access the street.

“With the communal bins, they’re saying they cannot get the trucks up the street,” said Mr Gibson.

“We’re actually supposed to get a weekly pick-up here but one in two times it’s missed until the next collection and on about one in four occasions it gets missed for multiple weeks.

“The problems emerged in October but the situation today is just the same. The key concern at this stage has got to be vermin. We’ve already got foxes and gulls ripping the bags open.”

Accountant Mr Gibson, who has lived in the street for two years, said: “I think it’s just the new driver going, ‘oh, I can’t get up there’. Someone at the council needs to crack skulls.

“I must have phoned about 25 times and my partner half as many times again,” he said.

“I phone from the office, my house, the mobile. But when I reach the call centre, it seems that the request goes through to a back office and nothing happens.

“It gets sent through and that’s usually the last I hear of it until the next time I have to phone.

“The call centre isn’t connected to the people directing and instructing the trucks.”

Council chiefs insisted problems with rubbish collection from Richmond Terrace had been fixed but admitted the street’s narrowness meant parked cars had created “access” issues.

They added that binmen had been making repeat visits if they were not able to get to the bins on the designated pick-up day.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, transport leader, said: “I am aware that crews have experienced access problems when collecting from Richmond 
Terrace.

“These issues have now been resolved and we will continue to monitor the situation to ensure this does not happen again.”

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