Recycling rates in Edinburgh have gone down since a switch to fortnightly bin collections and a local councillor has criticised officials for the statistics.

City centre councillor Joanna Mowat, who is also the transport spokeswoman for the Edinburgh Conservatives, told that the September 2012 change was meant to save £5 million and improve recycling rates, but in October and November more rubbish was sent to landfill.

Fortnightly collections theoretically help boost recycling efforts as regular bins are not emptied as often, so people are encouraged to separate recyclable material and put it in home recycling bins instead.

Ms Mowat said: “We were told recycling rates would improve and the amount of waste being sent to landfill would go down, so the fact the exact opposite is happening suggests something is wrong. When I asked them the reason, officials had no idea why this happened.”

Local recycling officials believe the scheme will work in time, but for now there have been problems with rubbish piling up – 11,000 complaints have been received on the topic.

Earlier this month, published pictures showing the rubbish bin collection area at Grandfield estate overflowing with rubbish. More than a fortnight had gone by since the previous bin collection.

Some residents of the Edinburgh housing complex tried to take rubbish to a local community recycling centre, but containers there were full too.

2 thoughts on “Edinburgh councillor laments negative impact of fortnightly bin collections

  1. I stay in the south west of the city in a relatively new block of flats (built within the last 10 years) and the reduced service has been a nightmare, particularly given the majority of bins were already all full after a week, the rubbish is now piling up and we are all still paying the same council tax. Totally unacceptable.

    • Hi Peter,

      I completely agree with you. I know in Cheltenham over Christmas there was an area that did not have a refuse collection for 6 weeks! You do have to ask how this is acceptable when council tax is not getting any cheaper.

      Thank you


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