Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

How dirty is your town centre? St Andrews and Kirkcaldy rated

Fife litter
A street cleaner in St Andrews - where there wasn't that much to do.

Fife is a place of extremes.

How many areas can boast home to a world-famous golf course as well as some of the country’s most deprived areas?

And one sign of whether an area is deprived or not? Litter.

Just look at any stock image of deprived areas and you know what I mean.

Ahead of the local elections next week, I visited town centres across Tayside and Fife to get a snapshot of how councils are tackling the litter problem.

Street cleaners do an immense job but they can’t be there all the time.

You can read my Dundee findings here. My Perth & Kinross and Angus trips will be published later this week.

So, how were things in the Kingdom?

St Andrews

Date: April 7, afternoon

The cleanest town centre I visited for this series. But then again, more affluent areas tend to be cleaner.

And in Tayside and Fife, it doesn’t get much more affluent than St Andrews.

It’s just a shame that whatever resources are being put into the home of golf are not being allocated everywhere.

A spotless St Andrews.
A spotless St Andrews.

I saw a street cleaner out and about during my visit. It must have been a slow day for him, as there was nothing to clear up.

Our verdict

As clean as you would expect. If only everywhere was like this.

Kirkcaldy

Date: April 15, afternoon

Full disclosure — the Links Market was on during my visit.

I did not realise this until the day before my trip to the Lang Toon.

But upon learning that, I expected a litter-strewn High Street. Coupled with a troubling few years for the town centre, my expectations were low.

Cleaning the Esplanade, as throngs of people enjoy the Links Market just metres away.
Cleaning the Esplanade, as throngs of people enjoy the Links Market just metres away.

Well, to my surprise, the High Street wasn’t looking too bad. Don’t get me wrong, there was litter to be seen, but nowhere near the level I expected.

It was at its worst at the benches near the Mercat entrance.

But staff were actively cleaning the street during the day, no doubt expecting an avalanche of market-induced waste.

The Links Market.
The Links Market.

The Links Market itself was a different story. Under the sea of people soaking up the atmosphere was a sea of litter.

I do not envy the street cleaners tasked with cleaning that up first thing in the morning.

Verdict

Certainly not as clean as St Andrews, but it could have been so much worse.

How many street cleaners tackle Fife litter?

There are currently 175 full-time street cleaners across the Kingdom and three part-time staff.

We asked for staff numbers over the last decade to make a comparison but Fife Council said they do not hold that information, as street cleaning was combined with other job functions in 2020.

Fife Council service manager Sandy Anderson said the change was made in order to “put more focus on keeping Fife’s streets clean and tidy”.

“Despite the fact that we now have fewer street cleaners, our hard-working teams take real pride in the work they do and are dedicated to improving the service they provide with the resources available.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

Conversation

[[title_reg]]

Please enter the name you would like to appear on your comments. (It doesn’t have to be your real name - but nothing rude please, we are a polite bunch!) Use a combination of eight or more characters that includes an upper and lower case character, and a number.

By registering with [[site_name]] you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy

Or sign up with

Facebook Google

[[content_reg_complete]]

[[title_login]]

Or login with

Forgotten your password?

[[title]]