Nicola Sturgeon's bins collected by taxpayer-funded firm despite Edinburgh strike

Nicola Sturgeon has faced yet more criticism after it emerged that rubbish is being collected from her official residence by taxpayer-funded contractors


Bin men from more than 60 percent of Scotland's councils have been on strike in recent days.

Piles of rubbish can be seen lining the streets across Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen.

The bitter pay dispute with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) has piled pressure on Ms Sturgeon to be more decisive.

And reports that the Scottish Government last year hired Mitie, a private waste removal firm, to remove rubbish from more than 70 Scottish government buildings at a cost of £43million, have added to the criticism.

It means rubbish from Ms Sturgeon's Bute House has been collected while Edinburgh's streets remain lined with litter.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon
A full bin in Cockburn Street in Edinburgh
A full bin in Cockburn Street in Edinburgh

Miles Briggs, the Scottish Tory spokesman for housing, said it was unfair for Bute House to be left “spick and span” while Edinburgh looks like a “landfill site”.

Hitting out at Ms Sturgeon, he said: “Taxpayers who stump up for her bin collection to the tune of millions of pounds also pay for a proper council service, which they are being denied thanks to her government’s cuts and dithering."

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said it was “appropriate” that Mitie collected rubbish from Bute House because it “also functions as an office for officials and the Cabinet”.

Mr Briggs also criticised the timing of Ms Sturgeon’s three-day visit to Denmark to open a Nordic office for the Scottish government, which will cost taxpayers an estimated £600,000 a year.

He added: “It’s small wonder Nicola Sturgeon seems unflustered by the rubbish piling up around Edinburgh while she’s off in Copenhagen. She urgently needs to clear this mess up.”

After the Mail on Sunday report, SNP ministers have been urged to find extra money to break the deadlock.

Bosses from the GMB, Unison and Unite unions rejected a five percent pay offer from Cosla, saying it amounts to a seven percent pay cut when set against rampant inflation.

In a statement on Sunday night, Edinburgh Council confirmed that rubbish will be collected from next Tuesday onwards.

Many Edinburgh residents have paid privately for waste removal firms to take away their rubbish.

Clearabee, the UK’s largest private waste removal company, said demand for services in Scotland have soared by 40 percent.