With a population of about 20,000, the Orkney Islands do not need a huge number of wheelie bins for residents to dispose of their rubbish.

Yet the council has been left with a surplus of almost 10,000 bins at a cost of £180,000 after plans to introduce new waste disposal arrangements led to an over-estimate.

The bins were bought in bulk to make savings on the unit cost for the rollout of the two-weekly collection.

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Homes on the Orkney Mainland, and in the linked South Isles connected by roads across the Churchill Barriers, were meant to get one 240-litre bin ­costing £21 for non-recyclable waste, and two 140 litre bins, at £18.50 each, for recyclable items

Part of the problem has been that 325 properties have opted out council waste collection while 1410 have been given an alternative to wheelie bins such as a bag collection.

Suggestions for use of the surplus bins include making a Japanese-style pod hotel out of them as well as finding a market for them among Orkney's growing home-brewing community.