Bin man turned drag queen adds sparkle to Edinburgh streets

During Edinburgh’s busiest summer festival season since the Covid pandemic, a bin man and performer from Cheshire Council has come to support the cleanliness of the streets.

Joe Leather performed his extravagant act to celebrate the deployment of additional waste and cleansing resources over August. He entertained Council Leader Cammy Day, cleansing staff, and passers-by on Thursday, 4th August.

Joe emphasised the importance of the message, ‘bin your litter or take it home with you,’ to ensure that the world’s festival city remains clean and attractive for residents, businesses, and visitors throughout the summer.

An additional team of 15 cleansing staff are now out in force, targeting the city centre’s busiest streets each day. The 350 litter bins across the city centre will continue to be emptied overnight, and there will also be a dedicated vehicle with cleansing crew emptying litter bins during the day. In addition, an extra four waste vehicles will be out clearing up any areas where waste has built up, and additional litter bins have been placed in busy ‘hot spot’ areas at Cockburn Street, High Street and the top of the Mound.

The Council also works with Out of Hand to ensure areas in the city centre outside the pedestrianised section of the High Street, looked after by the Fringe, have managed advertising space and are kept clear of fliers and other litter.

Alongside this, temporary changes have been made to some road layouts in the Old Town to create a safer, more inviting atmosphere for residents and visitors. Making it easier and safer to walk, wheel and cycle on key streets in the area during the busy festival period will reduce pressure caused by increased footfall. This builds on the successful pedestrianisation of Cockburn Street and Victoria Street as part of Travelling Safely.

This year the Council has also brought back the popular ‘We’ll bin our jokes, if you bin your litter’ campaign, which urges residents and visitors to help keep the Capital city in shape.

Council Leader Cammy Day said: “It was great to meet Joe and get a sneak preview of one of the acts which will bring colour and culture to the streets of the Capital in the coming weeks as the festival season gets into full swing. This is our first restriction-free summer festival season since the Covid pandemic, and there’s a fantastic buzz across Edinburgh.

“That’s why we’re deploying extra waste and cleansing staff, and I’d like to thank them as well as those from the Fringe, Out of Hand and other partners who will be working tirelessly in the background day and night to make sure Edinburgh continues to look its best. It’s important to recognise that we all have a part to play in keeping Edinburgh clean, and I would ask you all to take pride in your city by binning your litter or taking it home.”

Picture caption: Wasteman Joe Leather with Council Leader Cammy Day

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