A Fife-wide review of wheelie bin provision and measures to stop them from being set alight has been shelved.
Councillors on Fife’s environment, protective services and community safety committee acknowledged there was a problem, but stopped short of calling for a formal report on replacing existing bins with less flammable alternatives.
Members were told Levenmouth has been a particular hot spot for deliberate fire raising, although all areas of the Kingdom – including parts of Dunfermline and south west Fife – have also been targeted.
Committee convener Councillor Ross Vettraino said the issue could be better addressed through partnership working at this stage.
Figures showed there had been a fall in deliberate primary fires, which involve property and buildings, from 99 to 93 in the first quarter of this year compared to 2017/18, while deliberate secondary fires fell from 451 to 387 in the same period.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service senior officer Roddie Keith said rubbish bin fires were still a huge concern and his teams gave talks in schools about the dangers.
“They do burn spectacularly well,” he said.
“The wheelie bin itself is dangerous because it becomes a molten liquid when it burns and can spit molten plastic. Then of course you may have aerosol cans or other items in the bin.
“There are alternative materials available – there are metal bins which are intensely fire resistant and there are other areas that have used them.”
Mr Keith added: “There are options, but they obviously have a greater cost attached.”
Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay SNP councillor David Barratt suggested officers compile a report so the committee could weigh up the options for replacing bins in the worst affected areas.
However, the proposal did not attract sufficient support..
Kirkcaldy East SNP councillor Rod Kavanagh said: “I suspect that the wily young neds would determine that where one type of bin doesn’t burn then they’ll go to the next one.
Liberal Democrat councillor Margaret Kennedy added: “All we’re talking about is addressing the symptom rather than the cause.
“The sentiment behind the request is something no-one would disagree with but it’s about how we best focus resources.”
More details on wheelie bin fires are expected to be included in a future Police Scotland report to committee.