Youngsters are risking their lives by torching the plastic bins n a bid to get high on the fumes, a waste management company has claimed.
Officials at the firm say they have had reports from around Britain of youths burning wheelie bins to sniff the smoke.
It is believed that certain dyes used in the manufacturing of the waste bins, depending on the colour of the plastic, can create fumes which users use to get high.
Anti-solvent abuse charities said inhaling the bin fumes could be more dangerous than sniffing glue or petrol.
Mark Hall, from waste firm businesswaste.co.uk, say they have had reports about the craze around Britain - with cases up 100 per cent in the last few months.
He said: “We’ve seen reports from across the country in recent weeks, and they’re all the same.
“Idiots stealing wheeled bins from outside homes and businesses, taking them to waste ground or parks, and torching them for whatever kicks they can derive.
“While some of them could just be arson, others include quotes from police officers who acknowledge that they’re doing it for weird drug-related kicks.”
The company has received “hundreds” of reports from clients who discovered ruined bins.
He said “There was a craze about ten years ago and it died out.
“All of a sudden we are getting reports again. We have got a huge amount of them being burnt at the moment.
“It is growing - there is 100 per cent more than there was last month.”
The trend surfaced a decade ago in South Yorkshire but appeared to have made a revival, he said.
In 2007 South Yorkshire Police issued a warning to leave bins alone after 40 bins went up in smoke in the space of four months.
The risk of aerosol cans being contained in the rubbish, which could explode if they came into contact with fire, is high, particularly on business premises.
Mr Hall said many people were not reporting the bin fires to police, making it hard to provide statistics on the crimes.
He said: “Just one aerosol might cause a potentially fatal explosion.
“And bins stolen from business premises could contain just about anything that can cause fatal injury to the unwary.
“Our people are sick of having to scrape melted plastic from pavements and parks, and our clients hate the inconvenience of having their bins stolen.”
Stephen Ream, a spokesman for solvent abuse charity Re-Solv, said: “It would be very dangerous, it sounds like it would make you sick before you got high.
“The fumes it would give off would be toxic.”
In 2007 there were reports of bins being burned so people could inhale the fumes.
The craze was behind more than 50 bin fires in Yorkshire.
PC Jonathan Reed, of South Yorkshire Police, said in 2007 that officers were looking at ways to lock up the bins.
He said: “It is the drug of choice, setting fire to the bins and inhaling the fumes.
“The health and safety implications are terrible. It is only a matter of time before someone harms themselves.”
Wheelie bins are made from high density polyethylene - composed of double-bonded carbon and hydrogen molecules.
Burning an empty one releases carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
These deadly gases starve the brain of oxygen, giving a headache-heavy short high.
Speaking in 2007, a spokesman for abuse charity Re-Solv, said he had heard of the problem in Scotland but it was the first time he had come across it in England.
He said: “They can be breathing in a whole compound of different chemicals in the plastic and not have a clue about what they actually are, or what they are doing to them.
“At least with petrol the lead has been taken out of most of it. And there are controls to stop abuse of other substances.”