Burning bins doesn’t get you high. In fact, it might just make you dead
Bins are burning, and a rash of local news stories from around the UK all point to the same conclusion – Britain’s stupidest urban myth which claims the fumes from burning wheelie bins gets you high is back with a vengeance.
According to one national waste management and recycling company, the rumour – which did the rounds a decade ago and featured widely in the national press at the time – says that burning a wheelie bin and sniffing the resulting fumes has the same effect as certain recreational drugs.
It doesn’t (of course), and waste management experts BusinessWaste.co.uk says that it’s not only potentially fatal for those people idiotic enough to believe the urban myth, but it’s also an enormous waste of time and money for the victims and those who have to clear up the resulting mess.
“We’ve seen reports from Wolverhampton, Hull, Glasgow and Swindon over recent weeks, and they’re all the same,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “Idiots stealing wheeled bins from outside homes and businesses, taking them to waste ground or parks, and torching them for whatever kicks they can derive.
“While some of them could just be arson, others include quotes from police officers who acknowledge that they’re doing it for weird drug-related kicks.”
• The urban myth is told differently depending on the locality. For some, any bin will do. For others, it is all about the colour of dye used in manufacturing the bin, so towns sometimes see a rash of blue or red bins going up in flames.
• But the end result is always the same: higher crime figures, the expense to the fire service, not to mention householders, businesses and councils having to clear up the resulting mess of melted plastic and replacing destroyed bins. There’s an unreported human cost too:
“Let’s not forget the idiots suffering smoke inhalation injuries and carbon monoxide poisoning,” says Hall. “They’ve fallen for this myth, and end up paying the price.”
So far, there have been no deaths from this ridiculous habit, but it’s only a matter of time, BusinessWaste.co.uk says.
“Whether it’s from trying to huff smoke in an enclosed space and succumbing to the fumes, or from the act of arson itself, somebody is bound to fall victim sooner or later.”
The so-called “addicts” often use the contents of the bin to start the fire, and that means the risk from explosion or toxic fumes.
“Just one aerosol might cause a potentially fatal explosion,” says Hall, “And bins stolen from business premises could contain just about anything that can cause fatal injury to the unwary.”
But it’s all a waste of energy. The only thing you get from bin-sniffing is a headache, melted soles on your trainers from standing too close, and all your clothes smelling like a camp fire.
While BusinessWaste.co.uk says this is hardly the devastation wreaked by crack cocaine, this nonsensical attempt at a “legal high” causes grief that people just don’t need in their lives.
“Our people are sick of having to scrape melted plastic from pavements and parks, and our clients hate the inconvenience of having their bins stolen,” BusinessWaste.co.uk says.
“So, at the risk of going all Grandmaster Melle Mel on the kids – Don’t do it!” says BusinessWaste.co.uk ‘s Grandmaster Mark Hall.
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