UPMARKET homeowners have started padlocking their wheelie bins to stop people sneaking in rubbish.
Edinburgh binmen are refusing to take away bins that are even slightly overfilled – and residents have even been threatened with fines if they leave too much rubbish.
Some residents say they now have “no other choice” but to lock up their wheelie bins to stop unscrupulous neighbours taking advantage.
Edinburgh City Council say they have no problem with locking bins so long as they are not damaged in the process.
But some residents are knocking holes in their bins so they can feed through metal chains attached to a padlock.
Mark Pearson, a casino worker who stays in the affluent Inverleith area of the city, started chaining up his bin when he noticed it was becoming more full than usual.
He said: “I could see my bin overflow but I recycle religiously so I barely put anything in it.
“But when I looked inside I could see all these black bags and I only use clear ones so I knew it had to be my neighbours.”
The 28-year-old put a £50 chain on his bin to guard his space he said he gets grief from other residents in the area.
Mr Pearson added: “The man who lived downstairs used to lock his bin – but he moved away and now his bin is overflowing too.
“I put my chain on my bin about a wee ago – my neighbours were laughing at me but I asked them what choice did I have and they didn’t respond to that.
“All it really took was a wee bit of elbow grease – I knocked a hole in the top with the hammer and then fed the padlock the chain through.
“At the moment my bin has only one bag in it and theirs are all overflowing and it’s still eight days to go before collection – what irritates me is that so much of what people throw away could be recycled.”
A spokesman for Tenants and Residents in Muirhouse (TRIM) who have campaigned for stricter bin rules applauded Mr Pearson’s efforts.
A TRIM spokesman said: “Many residents have already been issued with warning for fly-tippers but it is impossible to manage when the residents are in flats – should the council provide locks for all?”
Edinburgh City Council also fine people up to £50 for leaving rubbish out on the streets rather than putting it in bins.
But Conservative councillor Iain Whyte said it’s the fines that it causing people to use bins belonging to other homes.
He said: “This is exactly the sort of thing my group colleagues were raising yesterday at the council meeting – that people could be penalised and have problems having bins collected because of thing that were not their fault.”
Edinburgh City Council suggested that disgruntled homeowners are well-within their right to lock up their bins.
A council spokesman said: “In these circumstances if a resident chooses to padlock their bin the council would not take action unless by doing so the bin has become damaged to the point of being unusable.”