Dundee City Council is being forced to fork out thousands of pounds every year to replace wheelie bins stolen from outside people’s homes.
The Tele can reveal that more than 1,500 bins have been stolen this year alone across the city.
That’s on top of the 1,947 thefts reported to the local authority last year — and a further 1,879 the year before.
The council estimates it will have to pay £125,000 to replace wheelie bins in 2017/18, and an additional £25,000 for larger Eurobins.
Many of the stolen bins are either dumped or set alight and calls are now being made for public authorities to join forces to tackle the issue.
Councillor Brian Gordon, Labour’s neighbourhood services spokesman on the council, said: “That’s a horrendous number of wheelie bins. It’s a huge issue, especially in the North East area.
“It’s wanton, deliberate fireraising and vandalism.
“We should encourage the community, the police and the fire service to get together to tackle it.”
Councillor Kevin Cordell, convener of the council’s neighbourhood services, said: “Clearly theft is theft and I do not condone such actions.
“There is a cost in replacing the bin and then the antisocial aftermath of how these bins are disposed of by those who take them.
“That results in clearing up flytipping or in extreme cases the fire service being called in.
“I would hope that folk think twice about indulging in this antisocial behaviour.”
A spokesman for the council said the cost of replacing bins, including those that are stolen, was met from the recycling and waste management budgets.
He added: “We provide a domestic and commercial waste collection and recycling service to more than 74,000 properties and 2,000 commercial customers in the city of Dundee.
“Every year we issue wheelie bins for a variety of reasons, including where new properties are built, for householders who wish to participate in recycling schemes and where containers have been lost or damaged.
“The council works closely with our partners in Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to keep our communities safe.”