By Cara Sulieman
FIRE CHIEFS in Edinburgh fear the city’s bin strike could be putting lives at risk.
Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service reports a huge increase in rubbish fires since industrial action involving the city’s cleansing crews started.
A spokeswoman for the fire service said that 74 bin fires were put out by the city’s fire-fighters in the past month – up two thirds on last year.
And they are blaming the overflowing bins.
She said: “Unfortunately, overflowing wheelie bins can be attractive to the opportunist firesetter and vandal.
“Wheelie bins being left in the street for longer periods may also increase the opportunity for this type of crime.
“We will continue to remain vigilant to these incidents, as every bin fire is a potential risk to residents and their property.”
The problem comes as Edinburgh City Council have started recruiting extra bin men and bringing in contractors to deal with the growing piles of waste around the capital.
And with one week to go before the festival season kicks off, the council’s leader has tried to assure residents that things will soon be back to normal.
Councillor Robert Aldridge, the environmental leader for the council, said: “We understand the frustration felt by the public experiencing delays in bin collections.
“If people have waste they want to dispose of, I would remind them that they can use one of our community recycling centres.
“We would also urge people to recycle wherever they can.”