Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Short-term lets blamed for increase in overflowing bins in Edinburgh

Overflowing bin Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The council has boosted its collection frequency to tackle the problem

An increase in overflowing communal bins in Edinburgh has been blamed by the city's council on the "explosion" of short-term lets.

There were 6,006 full or overflowing bins reported to City of Edinburgh Council between July and September - up 13% (688) on the same period last year.

Overflowing bins have increased by 2,104 (54%) since the same period two years ago and by 116% four years ago.

The environment convener said she recognised it caused frustration.

Lesley Macinnes said: "The explosion of uncontrolled short-term lets in the capital is having a serious impact on a range of vital services.

"These figures on overflowing communal bins make for stark reading and reveal the increasing pressure our waste collection teams are coming under year after year as Edinburgh continues to attract more and more visitors."

She added that the council had boosted its collection frequency to tackle the problem but said the city "desperately needed a robust licensing regime for short term lets".

Recent analysis (using Airbnb data) published in April 2019 by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre indicates there were more than 12,000 registered Airbnb properties in Edinburgh in 2018.

Airbnb reported that 21% of the 9,000 properties registered in 2017 operated in excess of 90 days, which would indicate they are no longer being used on a residential basis.

The loss of traditional private rented sector properties is more prevalent in the city centre and in the north of the city, with the loss of stock running at up to 30% in some northern parts of Edinburgh.

Airbnb pointed out that it is not the only short-term let operator.

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