PEOPLE and businesses across East Lancashire have been asked not to take grit from council-provided bins for personal use.

The plea came as bins in Darwen were emptied soon after being filled by council workers.

The bins are provided on roads not included in main gritting routes and the grit is for use on roads or pavements that become hazardous.

But after reports that some may have been used for personal use such as gritting garden paths, residents were urged to be vigilant.

Sudell councillor Roy Davies said bins around his ward were being emptied alarmingly quickly.

He said: “We only had them filled up a couple of weeks since and they are empty again now.

“It is okay if elderly residents are taking a bucketful to be used around their streets to save walking down to the bin every time.

“But it is when people and businesses have got a garageful it gets a problem.”

Coun Davies said if companies got in touch with the council they would most likely help them out.

He said: “If firms ring the council they will probably be sympathetic and just drop one off for the cost of delivering it.

“At the end of the day, they should buy their own grit, don’t nick ours. The grit in those bins belongs to residents.

“It happens year after year and it is not fair on the people who want to use a bit for their road.”

Lancashire County Coun Tim Ashton said: “I would urge people to use the material in grit bins responsibly.

“In previous years they have been emptied before the bad weather arrived.

“Anecdotal evidence suggests people may have been taking grit and storing it to use on their own driveways, leaving their neighbours unable to tackle icy spots on the roads and pavements.

“I would urge people to be vigilant and let us know if grit is being misused so we can investigate.”

Executive member for regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen Council Dave Harling said: “It is aimed at helping residents, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, avoid nasty falls or road accidents.

“Should residents wish to salt their private drives and pathways it is advised that they purchase their own.”

  • If you spot an empty grit bin or untreated road in your area, help our Grit Watch campaign by leaving a message at or sending us a tweet with the hashtag #LTgrit.