DOG mess bins are being "phased out" in Bolton — and owners will be urged to used regular litter bins or use their own bins at home.

But no new litter bins will be installed anywhere in the borough because cash-strapped Bolton Council cannot afford them.

Council chiefs said budget restrictions mean they are currently unable to install new litter bins or dog waste bins.

Environmental campaigner Chris Banks, aged 32, from Breightmet, recently asked the council for a new litter bin and a new dog waste bin to be installed in a dumping hotspot near to his house in Hollycroft Avenue.

He said: “In areas around here it is like a dumping ground for people’s rubbish and there are no bins at all. They are expecting people to take the rubbish home with them but the reality is that if people haven’t got bins then they will fly-tip."

Mr Banks is a member of the Friends of Seven Acres and said that he and other members regularly carry out litter picks on the country park — recently filling 40 bags of rubbish in one session.

He added: “I was also surprised to be told by the council that they no longer use dog waste bins and that people should put the dog waste in normal litter bins — I don’t think many people know that.”

The news comes after a Freedom of Information request revealed that reported incidents of fly-tipping went up by 40 per cent last year, with 4,000 reports across Bolton.

The council said it has been phasing out dog waste bins for the past five years — with the authority describing the cost of maintenance of the bins and disposal of the waste as “prohibitive”.

Waste collected in dog bins is classed as clinical waste and must be disposed of by incineration.

The council’s cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Nick Peel said that while there was no “dedicated budget” for new litter bins, the council would be prepared to deal with issues on an ad-hoc basis.

He said: “Most areas in the borough are adequately covered by bins at the moment and we have larger litter bins in the town centre, which is something I would like to see rolled out in other areas.

“While there is no budget for new bins, if an area was in real need of one and it would be of benefit to the area then we would try to find the money.”

Farnworth resident Kevin Gleeson, aged 70, regularly sees litter being dumped in Greenland Road where he lives and believes education is the answer.

He said: “There aren’t any bins in the road but even if they had the money to put them in, I don’t think the kids heading to the local school would use them.

“I think the answer is education. They should be told first thing every morning in school to respect their local area and not drop litter.”

Cllr Peel said: “Just because there is not a bin near you does not mean you should drop it on the floor. There is no excuse for that — either take it home or find another bin.

“When people are putting dog waste in the litter bins it should obviously be properly bagged and if the bin is too full then people should find another one or take it to their bin at home.”

A spokesman for Bolton Council said: “Due to budget restrictions, we are unable to install both new litter bins and new dog waste bins at the current time.

"With regards to dog waste bins, we have been phasing these out over the past five years and encourage members of the public and dog walkers to put their dog waste into any litter bin and it will be collected along with the rest of the litter.

“If a resident does have a particular issue with dog waste in their area, we would advise them to contact the contact centre and our Education and Enforcement team will be in touch to discuss the issue.”