ARSONISTS torched more than 3,000 new wheelie bins at a council depot in Atherton.
Police are now investigating after the huge blaze caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the store of blue bins.
Homes across Atherton were affected as plumes of acrid smoke were seen up to five miles away.
The roll-out of the new bins across the borough is now likely to be affected following the damage. Firefighters were called to the incident at around 1am on Saturday at the warehouse in Linstock Way.
A spokesman for Wigan Council said building investigators were assessing the damage but the cost is likely to be more than £70,000.
A spokesman for the council said: “The unit was left in a secure condition, but entrance was forced by intruders, and police are now investigating a case of suspected arson. “We hope that anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious comes forward to help the police with their enquiries. “
Police are now looking at CCTV footage. Anyone with information is urged to call 0161 872 5050, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.