TAXPAYER’S are being forced to splash out on private security guards brought in to protect a refuse dump during the controversial bin dispute.
Edinburgh City Council has drafted in security teams to protect vehicles owned by private companies which have been targetted by vandals.
The guards are now on call throughout the night amid fears of further damage to the vehicles.
Private firms were drafted in by the local authority to clear rubbish from the city’s streets amid concern that Edinburgh’s reputation could be affected in the run up to the International Festival.
CCTV cameras have been installed and three workers are working between 4pm and 8am in an operation that could cost as much as £5,000 per month.
Gary Davidson, operations manager at JSL Security, confirmed his firm had been contracted to keep watch over the former council depot in the Seafield area of the city.
He said: “We were given the brief that it was because of local vandalism to the machines.”
He admitted his company were aware the problems came as the council bin men were on a work to rule policy, but they did not “get into the politics” of such situations.
It is understood the vandalism involves cars being scratched with keys and damage to the refuse trucks.
The incidents come just two weeks after allegations of sabotage of the private contractor’s route.
On their first night of their operation four large bins were upturned in different parts of the city.
A council spokesman said: “Due to acts of vandalism tyo equipment and premises it has been necessary to engage extra security detail to ensure the smooth running of our service.”
Meanwhile, trade union Unite have confirmed they have officially served notice they will carry on their industrial action which, they say, will be “short of a strike”.
The level of disruption is likely to be of a similar nature to the recent unofficial action.
But despite the looming industrial action city chiefs are confident of keeping the city streets clean.
Steve Cardownie, deputy leader of the city council, said: “We are confident we will meet the challenge and be able to provide citizens of this city and visitors with a clean environment, as is our duty to do so.”