By Melissa Clark
SCOTS bin men have been ordered to put black refuse sacks back in wheelie bins rather than take them away.
Strict new rules on collections in Edinburgh mean residents who put black sacks next to full bins will get them back.
The city recently introduced fortnightly collections and the refusal to remove extra waste sacks was today branded “crazy” and “stupid”.
To rub salt into the wound, council chiefs have warned residents who persistently try to dump extra rubbish they face a £50 fine.
Jason Rust, a Tory councillor, said: “It does seem crazy to have a system of putting rubbish back into the bin.
“To a lot of people, refuse collection is a key, identifiable service they get for their council tax.
“If they are getting their rubbish handed back they will feel the council is not giving them proper service.”
Cllr Rust said there was no way of ensuring the bins and bags had been put out by the same people.
He added: “You could have people dumping a bag next to a bin which has nothing to do with them.”
Norman Tinlin, secretary of Fairmilehead community council, said bin crews putting rubbish bags back was “stupid” and that he predicted an increase of refuse on the streets.
He said: “Officials told us that for the first two collections they will uplift what they call side waste, but after that they won’t.
“It will backfire on the council and the streets will be dirtier than they are at the moment.”
The row erupted after complaints poured into councillors about bins not being collected.
A council source said: “We could quite easily take the bags away, but that would just encourage people to put out more waste the next time.
“There is a set amount of rubbish you can put in your wheelie bin. All across the country, that’s perfectly standard. You can’t put out more than you are allocated.
“We will empty your bin, but we won’t take away black bin bags which are excess waste. After the first couple of times, we will put it back in the wheelie bin.”
Lesley Hinds, council environment convener, said: “We will obviously give people time to get used to the new arrangements and have been providing advice and support to residentsover the last few weeks.
“We’re confident that residents are on board with the changes, although our recycling advisers will continue to be out and about on the street to advice people on how to reduce theirlandfill waste.
“As is standard across the country, we will take action against those who persistently dump excess rubbish on the street. “However, while the new changes are bedding in we will be
understanding and supportive.”