Leader: bin collections

The fact that road resurfacing work is being blamed for contributing to delays to bin collections in the Capital is likely to have been greeted with a wry smile in many quarters. At least that was probably the reaction from those able to resist the urge to scream.

The council’s road repairs team getting in the way of its refuse collectors in Gorgie Road simply adds to the impression that when it comes to the latest council calamity the left hand simply does not know what the right hand is doing.

Cancelling weekly rubbish collections was always going to increase the amount of recycling people would try to do. In fact, that was one of the justifications for making the change in the first place.

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Yet the council has run out of recycling bins and is struggling to empty packaging banks faster than they fill up after failing to estimate how far and how fast demand would increase. At the same time, rubbish is 
piling up in the streets as bin crews operate with error-strewn work sheets.

It all adds up to another fine mess which could so easily have been avoided.

As if she did not have enough on her hands with the trams and the bus lane camera debacl, Edinburgh’s transport and environment leader, Lesley Hinds, certainly has her work cut out.

At least she has been prepared to lead from the front and take responsibility for things that have not gone to plan. Whether or not her confidence that the worst of the problems are almost over is well-founded, only time will tell.

Ultimately, it is the council’s success in dealing with the current mess that is the acid test.

If in the coming days the bins get emptied and the piles of rubbish on 
the streets get cleared, all this hassle will soon be forgotten.

If the council can show the new arrangements can work smoothly, then the idea of fortnightly bin collections will be accepted.

Decisive and effective action is needed in the coming days to bolster confidence in the new system. Otherwise, doubts about the wisdom of making the switch to fortnightly collections will continue to pile up.