A PENSIONER has told of his shock after his recycling bins were set on fire by vandals earlier this week.
Ted Spalding, 82, has been left shaken by the incident and fearing for his safety and that of his wife Brenda, 79.
The couple were having a quiet evening in their Toothill home on Monday when, at 11.30pm, Ted looked out of the window to find his rubbish bins ablaze.
“I looked up and shouted to my wife ‘The bin’s on fire,’” he said. “It was like an inferno.”
The couple’s two black recycling boxes and small black waste bin had been set alight just yards from their door.
Ted had put his rubbish out on Monday night as bin men were due to collect it on Tuesday morning.
He said: “I have no idea why someone would do something like this. It’s a complete mystery. I’ve no idea why they picked on us.
“We phoned the fire brigade, but they took a wrong turning and ended up going the wrong way.
“They eventually got here and put it out straight away. They were very good, we couldn’t thank them enough.
“The fire brigade said that it was a good job the fire wasn’t any bigger or it could have set our door alight, which is shocking really. It could have been much more serious.”
Yesterday Council workers have called at the couple’s house to replace the bins. Although Ted is very grateful for their quick response, he remains concerned.
“I said to the wife that if the council send us some more bins, it could happen again,” he said.
“The only real solution is to go back to the wheelie bins because they don’t catch fire.”
The Spaldings have had their bins stolen in the past, but they have never been set on fire before.
“It’s very frustrating because we do all this recycling and then this happens,” said Ted.
“We are scared for our safety and I hope they don’t damage my property. We haven’t had any trouble round here for months,” said Ted.
The council confirmed it was in close contact with the Spaldings and has issued them with new bins and hope it doesn’t happen again.
A spokesman for Swindon Borough Council said: “It is very sad that anti-social behaviour is creating problems for this resident’s rubbish and recycling collections.
“A waste warden has visited the property today to try and resolve the matter by finding a more secure place for his waste and recycling to be stored.
“The missing bins have been replaced as part of this solution.
“Arson is a crime and we encourage all residents who find that their bins have been set on fire to also report this to the police.”
Ted said: “I’m much happier now that the bins have been replaced.
“I just hope it doesn’t happen again and we have to have more new ones delivered.
“It’s a real inconvenience and it’s also very dangerous because our property could have been seriously damaged.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.
or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. If anyone has any information on who may have set the Spaldings’ bins alight they are asked to contact the police on the non emergency number 101.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where information can be left anonymously if required.