A PILOT scheme to tackle the problem of wheelie bins being left out or abandoned in back streets has been launched.
The 12-month scheme is being run by Hartlepool Borough Council in the Victoria ward with Cleveland Fire Brigade.
In recent months there has been a jump in wheelie bin fires with over 20 since April compared with 17 for the whole of last year.
The pilot will involve residents being reminded to bring their bins with leaflets and stickers and could see them have their bins removed or fined.
Steve McCarten, Cleveland Fire Brigade Hartlepool District Manager, said: “We are pleased to be working with Hartlepool council on this pilot to encourage all residents to play their part in helping to keep their neighbourhood safe by storing their bins properly and so reducing the risk of fires being started in them.”
Councillor Peter Jackson, chairman of the council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee, said: “This pilot comes as a direct response to residents’ requests for action to be taken to deter neighbours who leave their bins out after they have been emptied.
“The majority of residents across Hartlepool are very responsible, but when bins are left out in the street they cause a host of problems, not least being a target for arson attacks, and we are very pleased that Cleveland Fire Brigade is bringing its expertise to this campaign.
“Naturally, we hope people will change their habits before the Council has to resort to fines. At the end of the pilot we will assess its effectiveness prior to deciding whether to expand the scheme to other areas of the town.”