Rubbish bins pile high in Scottish capital due to ongoing bin collectors' strike

Streets of Edinburgh full of bins, takeaway cups, containers as strike coincided with annual Fringe Festival in the capital
Rubbish bins pile high in Scottish capital due to ongoing bin collectors' strike

The stately Scottish capital Edinburgh is seeing its streets filled with rubbish as an ongoing bin collection strike reached its 10th day.

The strike, which coincided with the final days of the city’s renowned Fringe Festival, has put an extra burden on the city as rubbish bins piled up in almost every corner of the city on the Firth of Forth.

The industrial action came as council workers are feeling the squeeze and demanding a pay raise amid the UK’s worst inflation in the past 40 years and skyrocketing energy bills.

Talks between the unions and the local council have not seen an agreement since the workers turned down various offers.

Amid the ongoing bin strike in Edinburgh, workers from some other major Scottish cities, including Glasgow, Dundee, and Aberdeen, have joined in the strike.

People ‘disgusted’

Justine, a resident of the city, said everybody is “disgusted” by the piled-up rubbish during the annual festival, which is typically a top tourist draw.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, she also said that people are “just getting on with it and trying to make the festival a success regardless.”

As the festival is wrapping up on Monday, Aug. 29, the strike will also end the following day, but a fresh strike could hit the capital next week if no deal is reached.

Small businesses suffer

The strike is affecting the city’s small businesses, said at least one business owner.

“It’s also very frustratingly happening during this month, also tourists are here – doesn’t represent the city particularly well,” Ed, a small business owner, told Anadolu Agency.

“But I’d also say that … there's a lot to be said for workers’ unions going on strike and, you know, demanding pay that they probably should be paid.”

Noting the strike’s impact on the senses, he said: “There's obviously a certain smell on the street because of it. There’s lots of small independent businesses and it's where it gets affected more heavily because there's a higher use of bins.”

Sebastian, another business owner, worried aloud that the situation could cause health hazards.

“I mean, it's hot. There's rats. There's a city built on top of another city. There's probably thousands of rats underneath us, you know. They say you're 10 feet from a rat anytime and stop putting rubbish everywhere, what would you expect?”