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Only joking: Edinburgh's Streets Lovely and Clean

Edinburgh's streets are becoming cleaner as the city sees a drop in dog-fouling and graffiti. Around 95% of streets in Edinburgh were found to have acceptable levels of litter - an increase from 89% in December 2012, according to a new report by Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Five out of six neighbourhoods received a cleanliness index result of 67 or above, achieving the national standard target. Eleven out of 17 wards met or exceeded the council target of 72, while five wards achieved a 100% clean result, compared to only two wards in March.

The report revealed that streets in Portobello/Craigmillar, Almond and Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart are among the most litter-free in Edinburgh.

City centre areas remained at the bottom of the clean pile amidst claims that scaled-back bin collections have exacerbated their litter problems. The dirtiest streets fell within the Craigentinny/Duddingston ward. These areas were said to be frequent targets of flytippers. The local community praised the neighbourhood as a "wonderful place to live" but admitted that illegal dumping has become a serious problem.

Inspectors reported that the biggest source of litter was from pedestrians (91 per cent of all litter identified in the survey) but that there was a reduction in the incidence of dog fouling, down from eight per cent to four per cent.

The checks are carried out for the City of Edinburgh Council four times a year, with grades given according to the amount of litter found on a selection of streets.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Edinburgh's transport and environment convener said: "These are fantastic results, and I would like to say a big thank you to all our street cleaning and environmental warden staff who have worked so hard to keep Edinburgh a clean and beautiful city.

"I would also like to thank residents who play their part by disposing of litter responsibly and taking part in community clean-ups.

"However we still have some way to go to in terms of public behaviour when pedestrians are responsible for 91 per cent of litter on the streets of Edinburgh.

"It's no surprise that the city centre proves to be a challenge with so many businesses and a high footfall. Our efforts are increasingly focused on working with businesses and others to see how we can reduce the amount of rubbish that ends up on our streets in the first place. We also hope changes to waste collection will have an impact."

(image:Tim Green/FlickrCC)

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