A COUPLE have been left furious after their wheelie bin was eaten by a lorry and the council didn’t bother to tell them.
The homeowners in Stockton, County Durham, face waiting up to six weeks for a replacement after the malfunction last Thursday.
The residents in Stockton watched their green bin get tipped into the lorry on CCTV footageCredit: Gazette Media
But it never returned – as the lorry had swallowed itCredit: Gazette Media
The residents, who did not wish to be named, originally suspected their bin had been nabbed by another neighbour by mistake.
But after checking the footage from their CCTV cameras to get to the bottom of the mystery, the pair were left livid after spotting it get tipped into the bin lorry – but never returning.
The footage shows the green bin being routinely dragged across the street and slotted into place, before a bemused bin man realises it has been gobbled up.
He then simply continues with his duties and moves onto the next bin further up the street.
One of the disgruntled residents told Teesside Live: “I went out to collect the bin and bring it in and couldn’t see it.
“I thought that someone may have took it in by mistake so checked our CCTV and found out that the bin lorry had taken it.
“And now we are told we have to wait up to six weeks for a new one – they don’t take black bags usually, even if they’re at the side of the bin.”
After getting in touch with Stockton Council, the duo were advised they were permitted to put a small number of bin bags out that would be collected.
The couple continued: “Thankfully we don’t have too much waste as we recycle but it’s us having to chase the council for their doing.”
“You’d think that the lads working would have at least come and knocked to explain what had happened,” one of them added.
“But the fact that they just walked off without any care is what’s annoying.”
New homes are given one green bin for free, which the council aims to deliver within “four to six weeks of a request being made” – subject to availability.
But if a bin is “lost, stolen or damaged”, residents have to fork out on a replacement costing up to £35.
However, those who suspect their bin could have fallen into the back of the lorry or damaged while being emptied are advised to contact the council.
Their website states: “We’ll then check this with our collection crew before any charges are taken for a replacement bin.”
The fact that they just walked off without any care is what’s annoying.
The couple are fuming that they may have ended up footing the bill if it wasn’t for their CCTV cameras.
They continued: “[The bin men] are supposed to be carrying cards to put through customers letter boxes to let them know if things like this happen.
“But if we didn’t have CCTV we wouldn’t have known because it wasn’t reported. We would have just bought another bin suspecting it stolen.”
Stockton Council have since apologised for the bin blunder and have replaced the pair’s bin free of charge.
Cabinet member for environment and transport, Councillor Mike Smith, said: “We’re aware of this issue which was reported by the crew to operations on Thursday.
“Occasionally bins can flip into the refuse wagon and when this happens, they are replaced free of charge.
“We would expect our crews to post a card at the property to let the homeowner know what has happened but unfortunately this did not happen.
“We’re very sorry about this – we have reminded our crew of the correct procedure to follow and have delivered a new bin to the property today, free of charge.”