Irate South Queensferry and Kirkliston residents bore the brunt of a resources crisis after a new waste collection system proved to be a flop.
The council’s environment chief has been forced to apologise after thousands of residents jammed switchboards and email systems at City Chambers berating collections that simply never took place.
Last week, the council was inundated with 1,703 such complaints – with the authority tallying up more than 5,000 calls from angry residents over the space of three weeks.
Before the service was changed to a four-day rota, the council received an average of 400 weekly complaints.
Councillor Lesley Macinnes, transport and environment convener, publicly apologised for the problems –where there have been reports of waits numbering a staggering 11 days in total.
She said: “I don’t think anyone, least of all me, would be happy with the negative impact that some aspects of these collection changes have had on some parts of the city. I welcome this opportunity to apologise directly to those affected.
“When we introduce a change of this magnitude we can expect to see a sharp rise in complaints and screaming headlines followed by a relatively swift revision back to normal levels.
“It’s clear that some residents have been negatively impacted on a temporary basis as we make this complex council-wide set of changes across our entire city – for that, I apologise.
“Officers are working extremely hard to rectify the situation and it would appear are making significant inroads in doing so.”
Opposition councillors have raised concerns about lack of communication with residents over the widespread disruption, including Kirkliston resident Councillor Louise Young.
The Liberal Democrat councillor said the lack of communication had been “thoroughly unacceptable” and was another example of a two tier system of service outwith the city centre itself.
She added: “Communities in rural west Edinburgh have yet again been treated as second class citizens
“A decision was taken before the start of the interim collection weekend not to actually collect the bins in Queensferry or Kirkliston or Cramond due to lack of resources.
“Our credibility has been called into question and we’ve all been made to look like idiots putting our bins out for a week with the full knowledge of officers that nobody was actually coming.”