COUNCIL bosses have warned of a rise in the misuse of public litter bins across North Ayrshire - after staff discovered personal data dumped in street bins.

North Ayrshire Council (NAC) issued the warning after discovering six examples of public bins in Largs being misused on the same day.

The local authority's Streetscene team, which looks after litter collection, have also spotted that takeaway delivery drivers have dumped paperwork, with customers’ names, addresses and phone numbers on delivery slips, into street bins around the area.

Yellow warning stickers have now been put on bins that have repeatedly been misused - with a warning that those caught misusing public bins anywhere in North Ayrshire could be slapped with a £500 fixed penalty.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: The yellow warning sticker has now been put on some of the misused binsThe yellow warning sticker has now been put on some of the misused bins (Image: North Ayrshire Council)

A trial of new bins with a smaller slot at the top to prevent bulky items being deposited has also been introduced.

Councillor Tony Gurney, cabinet member for green environment and economy, said: “Misuse of public litter bins – for example, filling them with business waste – is denying a service to others who may wish to use them.

“This is an offence and, where we find evidence of local businesses doing this, these businesses will be charged a minimum of £120 for the servicing of the bin in question.

“Most people are respectful and take pride in keeping their neighbourhood – and places they visit in North Ayrshire – clean and tidy. We would just like to remind everyone that public litter bins are for public litter only.”

The council has also warned that it is a burden on their resources when business place their waste in public bins as owners have a statutory duty of care for their rubbish.

Filling public bins with business rubbish also means residents and visitors to towns and villages cannot conveniently dispose of things like takeaway containers and coffee cups.