The lack of progress in getting commercial bins off the streets of St Andrews has been lamented by a local councillor.
Brian Thomson said he is particularly unhappy about unofficial ‘bin stores’ blocking much-needed parking spaces.
Labour member, Mr Thomson believes Fife should follow the lead of Edinburgh City Council and impose a new policy which prohibits the storage of trade waste bins on roads and pavements, only allowing bins or bags of waste to be put out for collection at certain times.
Mr Thomson explained: “I’m regularly getting complaints about commercial bins being left in parking spaces and I know that members of the community council are not happy about the lack of progress.
“Fife Council officers gave a presentation to the community council in December on their efforts to get businesses to present their waste properly, and there has been a slight improvement since then.
“However, absolutely no progress has been in removing commercial bins from parking spaces.
“At one particular location in Market Street, a couple of businesses take up at least one space on a ’24/7′ basis and aside from looking awful, this unofficial ‘bin store’ is resulting in the loss of a parking space for the public, and lost revenue to the council, which must equate to around £3,000 per annum.
“However, council officers have indicated that businesses have no other option than using parking spaces, to ensure that their waste gets uplifted.
“My own view is that the businesses chose to open in that location, fully aware that they would have to make arrangements for their waste disposal, and work within the restrictions of cars being parked outside the premises.
“It should be the responsibility of the businesses to come up with a solution for getting waste uplifted, and it’s completely unacceptable for car parking spaces to be constantly unavailable.
“Other towns with historic street layouts don’t appear to have this issue, and Edinburgh City Council is successfully operating a trade waste policy whereby waste can only be put out for collection at certain times, for a maximum period of one hour. Bags and bins must be clearly marked with businesses’ names and collection time, and pavements and roads must not be blocked.
“A policy similar to Edinburgh and proper enforcement is clearly needed and, given the lack of progress, I’ve taken up the matter with Councillor Ross Vettraino and Councillor Altany Craik, who are the council conveners whose remits cover commercial waste uplifts and transportation respectively.”
Ken Gourlay, head of assets, transportation and environment, said the local authority is doing a number of things to help resolve the problem of bins being stored on streets and in parking bays – particularly in St Andrews.
He said: “Our enforcement officers have been visiting businesses to encourage them to retrieve their bins once they’ve been emptied.
“They also check businesses are meeting their legal responsibilities and provide advice and guidance about how to store, transfer and dispose of their waste without harming the environment.
“If they’re not complying we can take enforcement action but we are trying to work closely with them to find a solution.”