Thefts of wheelie bins from homes across Dundee have more than doubled inside a year.
More than 3,200 bins have been reported stolen across the city in 2018-19 so far – much higher than the 1,500 stolen throughout the entire 2017-18 period.
The city council expects it will have to fork out upwards of £100,000 to replace the bins this year. Council chiefs say they are stumped about why the figure has risen so much.
Councillor Brian Gordon, neighbourhood services spokesman for the opposition Labour group, said he was “shocked” by the statistics.
He said: “That is a horrendous amount – and the council is having to pay for this.
“There are a lot of other things that the money could be targeted at.
“If people see someone walking along the road with a bin they think doesn’t belong to them, they should report it or challenge them.”
Neighbourhood services convener Kevin Cordell said: “Theft is theft and I certainly do not condone such actions.
“It is a really disappointing figure and there is a cost to replacing the bins.
“Of course, there may also be a cost in any antisocial behaviour needing cleared up afterwards, whether that is in fly-tipping or – in extreme circumstances – the fire service being called in.
“I am happy to work with police, fire and community groups in order to try to drive the figures down.”
Asked why the figures had risen so dramatically, Councillor Cordell added: “I cannot give a definitive answer on that but I know the department is examining the figures closely.”
Controversy has surrounded the council’s roll-out of new bin collection programmes.
In summer last year, the authority was forced to apologise after thousands of residents suffered delays in receiving new bins or having their bins emptied, as changes were made to the types and frequencies of waste collections.
A recent report to councillors revealed that “demand for wheeled bins continues to be high each year with the enhancement of recycling services across the city”.