Edinburgh Gets Big Clean Up

Bethan Cleary

Clean Up Edinburgh strives to keep the capital’s streets clean. The project is a call for residents, businesses and community groups to improve attitudes and behaviours towards littering. Hoping to step up the campaign a notch this Friday, a spruce of litter hotspots will take place in various locations throughout Edinburgh.

The initiative supports the Clean Up Scotland Campaign, run by Keep Scotland Beautiful. Mark Bevan, the campaigns director for Keep Scotland Beautiful, detailed how detrimental this issue is to the well-being of Edinburgh residents, tourism and the economy.

Bevan said: “Littering is a problem throughout the whole of Scotland. In Edinburgh alone, we are spending £4,500 pounds every day on maintaining the cleanliness of the city. That money could be used more efficiently elsewhere. We’re hoping that these events will reduce litter. We believe that if others see people cleaning up litter, they will be more inclined to do the same thing.”

The campaign commissioned YouGov research, which showed that 70 percent of people living in the Lothians have seen litter dropped, either accidentally or on purpose in the past three months.

It is hoped that if this initiative is successful, the government funding of recycling and litter control can be used elsewhere more efficiently. Maintaining Scotland’s appearance is particularly important this year as the nation gears up for an exciting 2014. Alan Bannon, Communications Officer at The City of Edinburgh Council has overseen the operational side of the scheme. He explained how he hopes this scheme will not only clear the streets of Edinburgh’s litter, but improve upon tourism and bring communities together.

Bannon said: “Our campaign is all about changing behaviours, raising awareness and building a sense of community. The whole project is a build up to Sept 2014, when we take in the Common Wealth Games and the Ryder Cup, when the eyes of the world will be on our country. While these events are not taking place in Edinburgh, there will be a rise up in tourism in Scotland and we want to put on a show and make sure our country looks as good as possible.”

Those who are eager to change the face of Edinburgh are asked to sign a pledge, committing themselves to the task of banishing the litter menace for good. Councillor Lesley Hinds has continued to actively support the campaign.

Hinds said: “There are many cities in the world where people would never even consider dropping something in the street and that’s what we want here, to change people’s mindsets. With around 3,500 litter bins available in Edinburgh, there is no excuse. When litterbugs cannot be bothered taking responsibility for their own rubbish, everyone is affected. This is why we are asking as many people and businesses as possible to sign the Clean Up Edinburgh pledge.”

Litter issue escalates in the streets of Edinburgh. Credit: Getty Images
Litter issue escalates in the streets of Edinburgh. Credit: Getty Images