Bin chutes in Dundee high-rise blocks face the axe after they were identified as a safety risk in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Council officers are looking to close the ageing chutes permanently after a fire safety report flagged “regular” blockages in the properties, sparking fears of a repeat of the London towe block blaze.
The openings on landings also do not meet current fire safety standards, according to papers prepared for the city council’s neighbourhood services committee.
Each chute empties into a room fitted with a sprinkler system, but “there is no means of suppressing a fire within the chute itself,” the report warns.
The chutes in some blocks are already periodically closed off for repairs, it goes on. A section in one block, covering approximately eight floors has been “closed due to significant internal damage and is unrepairable”.
The bin rooms at the end of the chutes, which workers empty two or three times a week, also do not allow for recycling.
Neighbourhood services convener councillor Anne Rendall, SNP, said: “Given the age of the bin chute system now, and the damage blockages can cause, it makes sense to change the waste disposal process in multi-storeys.
“By giving tenants an easier way to recycle, the steps can also contribute to the city’s overall recycling rates. It has been proven through previous temporary closures of bin chutes in multi-storeys that there hasn’t been an increase in the dumping of household waste.”
The council is looking to improve fire safety in its high-rise properties after reviewing its housing stock in the wake of the blaze at Grenfell Tower where 72 people died after cladding on the 24-storey building caught fire.
Specialists reviewed the cladding systems on high-rises in Dundee and found they met building standards for high-rise properties.
A fire safety group was later created, leading to the latest round of fire safety improvements.
The proposals also include new door sets for individual flats, new fire doors and replacement floor coverings in communal areas, and the repainting of landings and common areas.
The council has also worked with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to provide tenants with information surgeries and home safety visits.
Ms Rendall added: “The council continues to ensure our tenants’ safety is a top priority as we continue to maintain the highest standards in our housing.
“We have now completed the installation of smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide detectors in all our multi-storey dwellings, so that they comply with the new national standards which will come into force from 1st February 2021.
“These enhancements to the existing fire and smoke detector systems in our properties will provide further reassurance to our tenants,” she added.