All St Andrews town centre businesses will be expected to comply with a new commercial bin policy – unless its “physically impracticable” for them to do so.
The message was made clear at Fife Council’s environment, protective services and community safety committee as members approved measures designed to get unsightly bins off the streets for most of the day.
As of April 1, no commercial waste or containers will be allowed on public footways and roads in the area, outwith the designated collection slot of 7.30am to 10.30am.
Failure to follow the new rules will mean businesses have to meet the cost of recovering the rubbish bins, unless they have been granted a special exemption.
However, such cases are expected to be few and far between.
Environmental and buildings services service manager John Rodigan said companies with unusual working hours, such as pubs, clubs and takeaways, would still be expected to play their part.
“We’re going to work with all the businesses but the expectation remains it will be incumbent on these types of businesses to turn up between 7.30am and 10.30am to present their bins,” he said.
Councillors were told the policy would be given a “soft launch” from January 1, before full implementation on April 1.
Mr Rodigan said problems with commercial waste in the affected area – North Street, Market Street, South Street and interconnecting lanes and streets — had worsened in recent years and now needed a “permanent solution”.
He added that Glasgow and Edinburgh had brought in similar policies to great effect.
SNP councillor Ross Vettraino, committee convener, said the move would encourage local businesses to manage their waste more responsibly and reduce the amount of spilled litter that can lead to vermin and gull infestations.
“The desire to improve the appearance of the town centre has long been expressed by local councillors and the community council,” he said.
“St Andrews is popular with tourists and bins on streets are impacting on events such as Remembrance Sunday and the festive lighting switch on ceremony.
“The theme here is that of consultation and people have been consulted at every step of the way.
“I do think the council has done everything it possibly can to make this project as meaningful as possible and as painless as possible for all concerned.”