Mountains of rubbish which have built up amid Sutton's ongoing bin chaos were allegedly set alight by vandals.

The borough has been plagued by overflowing bins since the council handed its waste contract to Veolia in a bid to save £10.3 million.

Many residents, particularly those in flats, have been missed off a list of collection addresses, leaving stacks of bin bags spilling across pavements.

Locals believe the hazard has now caused an arson attack after a recycling bin behind Sainsbury's Local in Central Road, Worcester Park, was almost entirely destroyed in a fire on April 22.

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Community campaigner Richard Johnson, who lives in the Nonsuch ward, had predicted the growing mounds of waste would attract arson, and says this is probably the first of many fires.

Mr Johnson, 46, said: "There's nothing to stop this happening elsewhere.

"I've reported it to the police but the gas supply is right next to those bins, you're asking for trouble with recyclable material stacked near that.

"For weeks now, it's become increasingly obvious that these bins aren't being emptied.

"The problem will just continue - residents are being told by crews to contact the council and report that their waste isn't being collected, but that's reliant on the council bothering to take that information to Veolia.

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"The system is just not working.

"If a bin is too full or the lid is even slightly open, they won't empty it, so you start off with that and then the bin either gets more full or the bags are put around the bin.

"Before you know it, the bins disappear behind a pyramid of waste, which is getting commonplace.

"A lot of the bins are so piled over you can't see them anymore, and it's obvious that the binmen don't know they're there.

"They're right at the back of the flats and the family who live closest keep having to clean it up."

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Mr Johnson puts the blame for the problems at the feet of the Liberal Democrat-run council, which he says has "shrugged their shoulders" and told him it's the contractor's issue.

Mr Johnson says at a council meeting on April 20 Veolia's general manager Scott Edgell told the council the list of properties it had been given was inadequate.

Mr Johnson added: "Scott Edgell stood up in front of seven councillors and said the list Veolia had was inaccurate, out of date and woefully insufficient.

"There's no way the collections can work with a mismatched list, but none of the councillors said a word when they could've gone 'okay, there's a massive problem here, let's sort it'.

"I've even volunteered to go round with someone from Veolia and show them where the bins are so they're on the radar.

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"This has all happened before - Sutton Council keep making mistakes.

"In 2014, we had big orange community recycling bins, but after the local election, they decided they wanted to run them down because we were 'abusing' them.

"They were piled high but that's because they weren't being emptied, and eventually they got burnt out and the bins were taken away.

"It was obvious that getting rid of them was a money saving exercise, and eventually they admitted it'd save them £125,000.

"They care more about money than people. It's not just the bins, it's their attitude."

Sutton Council has been contacted for a response.