A health authority warned, on Saturday, that the glittering piles of rubbish in the streets of Edinburgh threaten the health and safety of the public, with the strikes of garbage collectors in the Scottish capital entering their ninth day.
The warning from Public Health Scotland came when garbage collectors in Newham, a London borough, pulled out for a week over a wage dispute.
Images of food waste and baby diapers rotting in the streets add to scenes of chaos in the UK as industrial disputes multiply amid rising food and energy costs. Swimmers were warned in the UK last week To get away from dozens of beaches where heavy rains led to raw sewage flowing into rivers and seas.
Public Health Scotland told local authorities that “disinfection of public places where containers have overflowed may be required”. “If organic waste accumulates, it may become a danger to human health,” she warned.
Garbage collectors pulled out on August 18 and plan to be out of business until August 30. And there are still more strikes if the wage dispute is not resolved.
Britain faces a huge cost of living crisisWith wage increases failing to keep pace with inflation, which hit 10.1% last week. These financial challenges have only been heightened by rising energy costs – authorities say Britain’s residents will see an 80% increase in annual energy bills in October.
The country has seen waves of strikes this summer, with the public transport system virtually shutting down For several days due to rail strikes. Primary schools and nurseries in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, will have to close for several days next month if council members’ strike continues.
In London, Newham Council garbage drivers began a week of strikes on Saturday, with union officials warning there could be more. Sharon Graham, the general secretary of Unite, said these workers are underpaid than others on neighboring councils.
“The council should now focus on getting to grips with workers who are facing a financial crisis,” Graham said. “If they don’t, the coming days will undoubtedly mean more industrial strikes.”
Britain’s image took a hit this summer. French lawmakers in the European Parliament complained this week that raw sewage flowing into rivers and seas by the UK is also threatening bathing water.fishing grounds and biodiversity in the European Union as well.
Parts of Britain’s sewage system have become submerged after several days of heavy off-season rain.
Follow all of AP’s stories about the environment at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment.
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