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UN investigates Edinburgh's wheeled bins

By Rebecca Thyer

The United Nations is investigating whether the use of wheeled bins will affect of Edinburghs world heritage site status.

The City of Edinburgh Council has written to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to clarify the situation.

Last month, ministerial consent was given for a 16-week containerisation trial in the world heritage site. The trial will end on August 13 when affected streets will revert to their former collection method.

City of Edinburgh Environmental and Consumer Services Department director Mike Drewry said: The council is well aware that the preservation and enhancement of the character of the Edinburgh world heritage site is of vital importance to all parties involved. That is exactly why we wrote to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre earlier this month to specifically ask if the world heritage site status for the centre of Edinburgh would be affected.

The council provided full details of the scheme, including photos.

In 1997, the council adopted a containerisation policy to deal with problems created by traditional sack-based collection including litter, spillage and pavement obstruction. The world heritage site is not exempt from these problems.

Councillor Robert Cairns, executive member for environmental services, said: We believe that the containers will have a positive impact on street cleanliness in the chosen trial areas and that residents will notice a considerable improvement.

Edinburghs world heritage site declared in 1995 straddles both the Old and New Town and includes Canongate, St Marys Street, Cranston Street, Forth Street, Hart Street, Regent Terrace and Heriot Row to Fettes Row bounded by Dundas Street and Howe Street.

A UNESCO decision is expected soon.

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