Around 15 litter bins in North East Lincolnshire have been damaged or set fire to this year alone, and the council are saying it puts lives at risk – as well as costing thousands to repair.
In recent weeks, bins in or near Haverstoe Park, Sidney Park, Cleethorpes Country Park, Cleethorpes Leisure Centre car park and bus stops in Grimsby town centre have been targeted by vandals.
In a separate incident, several household wheelie bins were dragged to Grant Thorold Park and set alight near a children’s play area – while full of rubbish and recycling.
It is suspected that this pattern of incidents are deliberate fires at the hands of vandals, though it is conceded that a cigarette may start a bin fire on rare occasions.
North East Lincolnshire Council say the cost of removing and replacing or repairing these damaged bins, as well as reinstating its foundations, can be as much as £900 each time.
All incidents are reported to the police, and the council has vowed to do all it can to clamp down on these fires, as 2022’s total of around 15 bin blazes almost eclipses last year’s tally already.
Cllr Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for Environment and Transport at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “It’s deeply concerning to think that someone would deliberately set fire to a bin, even worse that someone would drag bins to a park and set fire to them there. Who does something like that?
“Arson is a serious offence and puts lives at risk. The smoke can contain all sorts of toxins and hazardous fumes.
“Someone must know who committed these offences. If you have information about the bin fires, please contact the police.”
Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Steven Peck said: “The consequences of arson can be extremely serious and I would appeal for anyone seeing anything suspicious in the area to come forward.
“We will not tolerate any kind of behaviour which puts our communities at risk. We are working closely with our partners in Humberside Fire and Rescue, North East Lincolnshire Council and other key agencies to tackle and prevent this kind of offending and will deal robustly with those found to be involved.”