PILED-up rubbish outside flats in a busy area of Kirkintilloch is causing concern for fearful residents.
Locals in the Cowgate flats say shops underneath them are leaving build-ups of cardboard boxes at the back of the premises.
They fear this is a dangerous and unnecessary invitation for vandals to start potentially life-threatening fires.
Renia Tysler, a Cowgate flats resident and member of the Cowgate Tenants and Residents Association, said: “Anyone can see for themselves that it’s an accident waiting to happen.
“With all the cardboard boxes littered about it’s just asking for somebody to put a match to it.
“I’ve been affected by two fires while I’ve been living here and on one occasion I had to get the place redecorated and cleaned.
“I know there have been other fires.”
She added: “I was under the impression all litter had to be bagged and binned - I thought that was mandatory.
“I work at a shopping centre in Glasgow and we can call out Health and Safety and they can give on-the-spot fines.”
Last week residents revealed in the Herald their numerous frustrations with the interior of the Cowgate flats, labelling the “continued neglect” of the building “a health and safety nightmare”.
The building’s factors Speirs Gumley were unavailable for comment before the Herald went to press.
David Devine, head of roads and neighbourhood services at East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “The shopkeepers have a responsibility under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act to ensure that their waste is controlled by containment in bins with a closed lid.
“Council staff regularly have discussions with shopkeepers concerning their responsibility and actively encourage them to keep the area tidy.
“In addition to this the council has had discussions with the residents association. The council has in place a weekly litter pick of the area.”
Fire officers from Kirkinitlloch Fire Station have visted the area as part of a Risk Reduction initiative and given advice about waste management to shop staff and management.