Firefighters have revealed that around 15 wheelie bins have been stolen from the same street and set on fire in less than a week.
Last night, Wigan fire crews were called to a fire near to The Poacher Pub in Winstanley, at which a group of around 40 youths had set fire to five wheelie bins all stolen from nearby homes.
The incident happened on Holmes House Road at around 7.45pm. When firefighters arrived they were met by a gang of teenagers who swiftly fled the scene.
Leigh firefighters have also recently faced similar problems, with large crowds of young people deliberately starting fires and then becoming abusive and launching missiles when crews arrive.
"They were all running away when we got there," said crew manager Stuart Parr. "These calls are just time wasting for us and a real nuisance for the public. This behaviour all ties in with the surge we see before bonfire night."
Crew manager Parr told Wigan Today that there have been identical incidents, on October 5 and October 7 with four or five bins set ablaze each time.
"One resident told me that she has had three bins stolen in the space of three weeks," he added.
The council has also addressed the problem. Blue, brown and green recycling bins can currently be replaced free of charge.
Paul Barton, Wigan Council’s assistant director for environmental services, said: “Bin fire arsons can be very disruptive and often dangerous for our residents and are a drain on the fire services resource.
"We condemn anyone who participates in such mindless anti-social behaviour. To help reduce the chances of bins being set on fire we ask residents to take them in as soon as possible after they have been emptied to keep them safe and secure.
“We also advise residents to number their bins so they can be clearly identified and prevent them going missing.”
Wheelie bin fires can be particularly dangerous due to their tendency to spread to nearby properties or vehicles.
Anyone who notices suspicious behaviour should contact police on 101. In the event of a fire, call 999.