Stoke-on-Trent City Council told staff to leave the cuttings on verges and open spaces such as parks and village greens to save £40,000 disposal costs. "The decision was made in early August to cover the growing season until the start of October," said a representative.
But Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service warned that piles of cuttings could be targeted by arsonists. The local authority said it applied only for this year and it had also laid off 37 temporary staff to save a further £70,000, making a total saving of £110,000.
Environmental services head Jane Forshaw said: "We had to consider cuts. The decision to leave the grass cuttings was made because we are approaching the end of the growing season and the impact is intended to be short term."