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St Helens fire boss: Only leave bins out on collection day
7:00am Tuesday 15th October 2013 in News
A FIRE chief repeated a warning that residents should not leave wheelie bins out unecessarily as a safety campaign was launched ahead of bonfire night.
‘Good Guys’ – which encourages residents to report bonfire build-ups and organises alternative activities for young people in the area - won a Home Office Certificate of Merit award last year.
It helped trigger a three per cent cut in anti social behaviour during the run up to November 5.
It sees St Helens Council working closely with its Community Safety partners - Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Merseyside Police and registered social landlords Helena Partnerships, Riverside and Your Housing Group.
But - after a series of bin fires in the early hours over October - the town’s fire chief has warned residents not to leave bins out after collection.
It comes at a time when many neighbours are seeing their brown bins collected earlier in the morning because of a shake up of the collection system, meaning some opt to leave bins out overnight.
Group Manager Chris Case, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service district manager for St Helens, said: “We want to drive down deliberate, anti-social, nuisance fires during the bonfire period but we need help from people in the community to do this.
“Firefighters are engaging with young people and youth groups in St Helens, delivering bonfire safety messages and water safety messages.
“The firefighters, along with members of the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Prevention Team in St Helens, are also liaising with local shops and businesses to highlight the importance of refuse control and storage of wheelie bins.
“Wheelie bins should be stored away from windows and doors and should only be put out on the day of collection and removed as soon as possible after collection to a secure location.
“We have had a number of wheelie bin fires in October in parts of St Helens and we are working in the communities and with police to help reduce this anti-social behaviour.
“We advise that once your bins have been emptied that people do not leave them out overnight and they are taken to somewhere secure.”
Tanya McGibbon, community engagement officer at Helena Partnerships said: “This year’s events are set to be bigger and better than ever.
"We’d like to thank everybody, especially young people from our Helena Make it Happen youth steering group, that have worked so hard to make this the best way to mark the Autumn festivities.
“Ultimately we want to ensure that our neighbourhoods can enjoy a clean and safe time around bonfire night.”
The Good Guy campaign encourages residents to report the build up of combustible waste and street bonfires to St Helens Council on 01744 676789.
Teams organised by the Probation Service and St Helens Council’s Environmental Protection then dispose of the material safely.
For more information, visit www.safersthelens.org.uk
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