Missed bin complaints up by a third in Edinburgh

Complaints about missed bin collections in Edinburgh have soared by 33% over the last year according to new figures obtained by the city’s Green councillors.

Between July 2015 and July 2016, there were 53,862 complaints about missed or overflowing bin collections in the capital, up from 40,309 in the same period a year earlier.

Green Group convenor Cllr Steve Burgess said:

“These are staggering figures and show the sheer scale of the problem which residents have had to put up with.  And that is only the tip of the iceberg.  For every complaint made there are bins which just go uncollected as residents resign themselves to another missed day.

“Over the last three years we have been told that missed collections were a result of a new service bedding in.  Well, the service has been changed for a while now, and the fact that missed collections are still increasing so dramatically is simply not good enough.

“Leaving aside the obvious problems of street litter and smell, there is a longer term problem about use of the waste service. The city urgently needs residents to play their part in reducing waste, recycling more and driving down rubbish being sent to landfill.  It is much harder to persuade residents to do that when the basic service is not even working.”


The full answer to the written question is below, for today’s full meeting of City of Edinburgh Council

QUESTION NO 2: By Councillor Burgess for answer by the Convener of the Transport and Environment Committee at a meeting of the Council on 25 August 2016


How many complaints have been received about:

(i) missed waste or recycling bin collections and

(ii) overflowing bins, over each of the last two years?

 Answer Our systems do not currently allow us to distinguish between missed bins and overflowing bins. As such, any overflowing bins are also classed as missed bins.

Between July 2014 and July 2015 there were 40309 missed bin complaints and between July 2015 and July 2016 there were 53862. The figure of 53862 equates to around 0.2% of the number bins that are scheduled for collection.

It should be noted that duplicate reports are included in these figures. In addition, it should also be noted that the number of bins which are collected was increased significantly through the rollout of the new kerbside collection service over the past 24 months.

Officers are continuing to work to improve this situation and are acutely aware that there need to be significant improvements made in this area. Throughout September, a new route management system will be trialled in waste collection with the aim of contributing towards this reduction.

I have also met Senior Officers to discuss reporting systems and feedback to residents who have contacted the Council re service complaints. I have also requested that a report be submitted to the next meeting of the Transport & Environment Committee on further actions required to improve these systems.