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Edinburgh dustbin strike leaves a bad smell behind

#Edinburgh #dustbin #strike #leaves #bad #smell

Rubbish spilled out of bins on the streets of Edinburgh on Tuesday as the city was hit by a strike by council employees during its internationally renowned arts festival.

Tens of thousands of performers and tourists flock to the Scottish capital for the festival, which lasts through much of August.

But many have expressed disgust at the stench as trash cans overflowed in the town, whose dense smog earned it the nickname “Auld Reekie” (Old Smoke) in the 16th and 17th centuries.

“Coming from London, we’ve seen some pretty bad protests and bad rioting, but this is up there,” street artist James Tofalli, who picked up rubbish outside Waverley train station, told AFP.

“I didn’t perform today. Yesterday and haven’t performed for a few days because it’s not a nice place to play.”

Jenna Rank, an Australian tourist, said she was looking forward to showing her partner “beautiful Edinburgh” as the festival ran in full for the first time since 2019, before the coronavirus hit.

But she said she was deeply disappointed after encountering an overwhelming stench.

“I kind of joked, ‘Oh, welcome to beautiful Edinburgh — it’s not usually like that,'” she said.

“It was quite stunning and not just the smell. For some people it’s their first time. It’s a shame to make such an impression.”

Ian Tomlinson, who was born in Edinburgh, said he had never seen the city look so bad as fears grew of a surge in the population of rats and other vermin.

“That is embarrassing. I’m actually embarrassed walking around the city right now and seeing so much garbage,” he said.

Edinburgh City Council cleaning staff went on a 12-day strike last Thursday after rejecting a 3.0 per cent pay offer they described as “ridiculous” in the current economic climate.

UK inflation is currently at a 40-year high of 10.1 per cent, on the back of rising energy costs, and is predicted to reach 13 per cent or even higher next year.

A strike by refuse truck drivers in Coventry, central England, lasted six months until late July. The country has recently been hit by strikes by railroad workers and defense lawyers over pay.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the strike action took place when Edinburgh was at the “centre of the cultural world” and dismissed claims of a lack of state funding for local government.

“Nobody wants to see the kind of disruption and impact of strikes that a lot of people are experiencing in Edinburgh right now,” she said.

Local residents have been asked to leave their rubbish indoors instead of throwing it out onto the street. Garbage and recycling depots are also closed.

Miles Briggs, a local government spokesman for the opposition Scottish Conservatives, said the litter piling up on our streets risked damaging the city’s reputation.

“These annual celebrations are meant to be a source of pride, not humiliation,” he said.

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#Edinburgh #dustbin #strike #leaves #bad #smell

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