WHEELIE bins in the Gorbals are being eaten by rats, according to one city councillor.

James Scanlon asked for reassurances as Glasgow City Council orders a new shipment for the ongoing Bin Replacement Programme.

Council officers are now to ask the supplier whether rats will be able to eat through the plastic and enter the bins.

The council is moving into phase two of replacing 50,000 galvanised metal bins across the city’s tenements.

Mr Scanlon said: “I had a surgery in the Gorbals area and a lady brought to my attention that rats are eating at the bottom of bins and getting into them.

“I am looking for assurances that there are reinforcements at the bottom of the bins, so they can’t do that – a steel protector.”

Despite a serious intervention, Mr Scanlon’s account was openly laughed at during the Contract and Property Committee.

He retorted to those present, “I don’t know if it’s funny but it’s actually happening in my ward”.

An officer from Land and Environmental Services (LES) responded that she will ask for guarantees, but that it was not part of the specification.

Filthy bin sheds with overflowing rubbish at tenement properties have been attracting rats and are becoming a health hazard.

As such, the council ordered the BRP which is due to be complete by 2020.

“These bins are considered not fit for purpose as they are small and may be in poor condition which can lead to the spread of litter in backcourts, encouraging vermin and creating health and safety issues for both residents and council collection staff alike,” a council statement on the BRP says.

MGB Plastics Ltd was selected to supply £876,312 wheelie bins.

Plastic Omnium Urban Systems Ltd is due to supply £1,447,511 worth of bigger four-wheeled bins.

Councillor Frank Docherty suggested more wheels would be ordered for maintenance.

However, he was told spare parts would not be included in the order.

“This particular company [MGB Plastics Ltd] does offer a relief service in that they will collect them back and give us a rebate to the cost of the plastic”, said the LES officer.

Mr Docherty added: “I would suggest we keep 30 to 40 wheels.”