Bin fires

Are vandals get­ting ‘buzz’ from fumes?

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Dou­glas Dickie

Con­cerns have been raised that youths in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang could be putting their lives in dan­ger by set­ting wheelie bins on fire to get high on the fumes.

The is­sue was raised at both Ruther­glen and Halfway com­mu­nity coun­cils in the past few weeks.

Con­cerns have been raised that youths in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang could be putting their lives in dan­ger by set­ting wheelie bins on fire to get high on the fumes.

The is­sue was raised at both Ruther­glen and Halfway com­mu­nity coun­cils.

Po­lice and fire ser­vices say they have no ev­i­dence to sug­gest that is the case, but ad­mit­ted the is­sue of wheelie bin fires was a blight on the area.

Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue said there had been a large num­ber of in­ci­dents in the Fern­hill and Blair­beth ar­eas in the first eight weeks of the year.

At Ruther­glen Com­mu­nity Coun­cil’s meet­ing ear­lier this month, a po­lice of­fi­cer told those present there had been a num­ber of re­ports of stolen wheelie bins.

They added: “There’s a lot of myths out there. I don’t know whether the kids are un­der this im­pres­sion but if you set a bin on fire there is some kind of fumes that are given off and you can take it in.”

And at Halfway Com­mu­nity Coun­cil last week, com­mu­nity coun­cil­lor John Edgar said many youths from Halfway were tak­ing the bins to the Dech­mont range.

He added: “It is hap­pen­ing nearly ev­ery week. They be­lieve the blue bins gets you more high than the green bins.”

Links be­tween wheelie bins and a so-called high date back to 2009, with po­lice in Manch­ester and York­shire warn­ing young­sters they were at risk of killing them­selves.

In­spec­tor Jim Gille­spie of Ruther­glen Po­lice said there had been a num­ber of in­stances where wheelie bins have been stolen and set on fire.

But he added: “We do not have any in­tel­li­gence to sug­gest they are do­ing it to get a high.

“To steal a bin and set fire to it is a crime and any­one with in­for­ma­tion should con­tact us on 101.”

Alis­tair Ste­wart of Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue’s South La­nark­shire li­ai­son team said they had iden­ti­fied a trend in the area.

They have been work­ing in part­ner­ship with the coun­cil and po­lice to ad­dress the is­sue.

Ac­tions in­clude in­creased po­lice and com­mu­nity war­den pa­trols, site vis­its to af­fected ar­eas, safety mes­sages to res­i­dents about col­lect­ing their bins and en­gage­ment with cam­pus cops at the three main high schools.

Alis­tair McKin­non, South La­nark­shire Coun­cil’s head of fa­cil­i­ties, waste and grounds ser­vices, said: “In the last three months in the Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang area, there were 15 re­quests for new bins re­lat­ing to in­ci­dents where wheelie bins have been stolen and set on fire.

“We have no ev­i­dence to con­firm the fumes are be­ing in­haled but, if this is in­deed the case, the coun­cil would urge those in­volved not to put their lives at risk in this way.”

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