Some Leith Walk firms 'break rules' on communal bins
More than 200 businesses in part of Edinburgh have been found to be breaking rules on using communal bins.
During a drive to tackle overflowing bins around Leith Walk, officials found that more than half of firms they visited did not have the correct waste collection contracts in place.
They discovered evidence that some were using communal bins meant for residents to dispose of their waste.
One leading councillor accused the businesses of "abusing the system".
Transport and environment convenor Lesley Hinds said their actions "undoubtedly" resulted in overflowing bins, litter and fly-tipping.
Compliance officers visited 406 traders during the Our Edinburgh initiative to address anti-social behaviour like littering.
A total of 215 did not have the correct waste collection contracts in place.
They also carried out a detailed inspection of one bin at Bernard Street and three-quarters of its contents were found to be trade waste.
Five businesses were handed a £200 fixed penalty notice on the back of the investigation.
Ms Hinds said: "We have focussed phase two of Our Edinburgh on the Leith Walk area as it's been identified as a hotspot for overflowing bin complaints and it's becoming clear why.
"Communal bins are meant for residents' household waste so it's unacceptable that businesses are abusing the system, which undoubtedly results in overflowing bins, litter and fly-tipping.
"That's why this campaign aims to provide information and advice to businesses in order to ensure they have the right waste collection arrangements in place, as well as penalising those that continue to break the rules."
Three further bins have been examined and found to contain up to 50% trade waste, according to the City of Edinburgh.
It said five more businesses will receive fixed penalty notices as a result.