The number of complaints received in relation to waste and recycling collections have risen by 70 percent since the removal of weekly waste collections in Edinburgh, the equivalent of 72 complaints per day.
Statistics comparing complaint levels in June/July from 2012 and 2013 reveal that, since fortnightly collections have been in operation, the number of complaints rose by almost 2,000. When the fortnightly collection system was initially installed in September 2012, the council was inundated with an incredible 11,000 complaints regarding uncollected bins and mounting levels of rubbish clogging streets and footpaths.
These recent figures were released after Councillor Allan Jackson requested the information, owing to the fact that specific waste statistics were not included in three consecutive council reports.
Councillor Allan Jackson – “I hope they are not trying to mask the reports, or hide bad news, and I have no reason to think that is the case but others may think that”
Councillor Jackson said: “The last time we saw a performance review was in January which means that the last three committee reports have not had the figures in it. Obviously it’s a bit suspicious that they have stopped providing this information after the highest number of waste collection complaints ever seen.
“Councillors can get the figures by specifically asking for them but it’s very disappointing that we have not had them since January. I hope they are not trying to mask the reports, or hide bad news, and I have no reason to think that is the case but others may think that.”
The decision to remove the city’s weekly waste collections was brought about in an attempt to increase recycling levels and cut the amount of waste sent to landfill. However, the council has admitted that the scheme has suffered from “teething problems” owing to the “massive change to the waste removal system in Edinburgh.”
Councillor Lesley Hinds notes that the new collection system suffered initially, but believes that the situation has now been resolved. She said: “Initial teething problems largely settled down within a few months and we now ensure our figures are carefully scrutinised. We recognise these figures are too high which is why we are looking at new technology to give us the most up-to-date and efficient information available to deal with complaints.”