A recycling bank in Cleator Moor has been damaged in a deliberate fire.
The paper bank (below), located in the car park of the Co-op and belonging to Copeland Council, was targeted on Wednesday evening.
The deposited recycling was destroyed and the damage to the cage will cost the council approximately £1,000 to repair.
Copeland Council and Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service have condemned the actions of those responsible.
Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “It is absolutely appalling that our recycling site would be targeted like this, and the impact is devastating.
“Setting deliberate fires is inherently dangerous and puts lives at risk. It also is grossly unfair on our residents, who have diligently sorted their recycling and taken it to the site, only to have it destroyed.
“It also has a significant impact on our staff, who had to clean the site – they did a great job but were taken away unnecessarily from other duties – and the cost of repairing the bank must now come out of our stretched resources.”
Owen McCarney, Station Manager for Allerdale and Copeland for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Arson can have a devastating effect on homes, businesses and communities.
“Deliberately set fires are dangerous; they waste time and money, and keep our crews away from real emergencies. As well as potentially delaying attendance at a more serious incident, fire-setting can result in injury, property damage and environmental pollution.”
Copeland Council has installed a temporary paper recycling bank while the damaged cage is repaired.