New bins get credit for drop in garbage fires
Regina's new rollout garbage bins have led to a sharp drop in the number of garbage fires in the city, fire officials say.
The new carts were introduced to Regina homes in the first few months of this year.
According to statistics compiled by the fire department, there have been 43 calls to garbage bin fires between Jan. 1 and June 23 of 2013.
That compares to 137 fires for the same time frame in 2012.
So far, seven of the 2013 garbage fires involved the new roll out bins.
Fire officials say the drop is likely related to people keeping a closer watch on their new bins.
"Because the owners will take account for their bins and bring them into their yard," Gerard Kay, deputy fire chief, told CBC News. "So they're not sitting in back alleys ready for anyone to walk up and throw a match in."
Regina has kept an eye on garbage bin fires for several years.
In the early 2000s, the cost of fighting bins fires added up to about $400,000 for the year, when one accounts for policing, fire, public works, and other costs associated with finding and prosecuting arsonists.
Officials believe an education program about the consequences of starting fires has also led to a decline in the number of fires in recent years and cut the annual costs by about half.
According to data collected by the fire department, in 2012 about one-third of all garbage fires took place in Regina's North Central neighbourhood.