Warehouse inferno won’t slow scheme

Melted blue bins at the Atherton depot
Melted blue bins at the Atherton depot

ARSONISTS won’t delay enhanced Wigan recycling, services, chiefs pledged today.

Intruders broke into a council store in Atherton and started a blaze which destroyed or damaged almost 4,000 new blue bins awaiting possible delivery to households across the east of the borough.

However, recycling bosses insisted today that there will be no impact on the progress of the scheme which was now almost complete.

Blue bins are replacing the former sacks used for paper and cardboard recycling.

Council head of cleaner, safer, greener Sally Wolstencroft said : “Of the 4,000 bins stored on site at the time of the fire, about 1,400 were lost or damaged beyond repair.

“These were spare stock we had ordered for the future to replace lost or stolen bins, or if customers want to switch sizes.

“Other customers who initially choose not to have a blue bin sometimes want to opt in when they see how much their neighbours like the service. We buy bins in bulk because it works out cheaper per unit.”

Police have appealed for information about the crime which took place at the Business Support Services depot at Linstock Way, Atherton and caused an estimated £70,000 damage.

For more than two hours, fire crews from Hindley and Atherton stations battled clouds of acrid smoke, that could be smelled up to five miles away.

Their prompt attention prevented a significant level of structural damage to the bin storage building, formerly Staveley Vessels.

A council spokesman said: “The unit was left in a secure condition, but entrance was forced by intruders, and police are now investigating a case of suspected arson.”

Police are appealing for witnesses on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 55511.