You might not pay too much attention to your humble wheelie bin. It does its job, day in, day out. Until one day, it’s not there. It gets put back in the wrong place by the council and someone else claims it. It gets stolen by vandals or someone who wants to sell it on. Either way, it’s an inconvenience. So what do you do about a lost bin?
First things first
It may sound obvious, but before you do anything, you need to check whether your bin is actually lost or stolen. Make sure the neighbour a few doors down hasn’t accidentally taken it in or the wonderful British weather hasn’t blown it down your street.
Report your lost bin
If the bin is your own personal property and you think that it’s been stolen, you should report it to the police. Obviously, use the 101 non-emergency number or go on the website and report the theft. You should get a crime number. While the police are too busy to look for every lost bin, the theft might indicate a wider problem in your area.
If the bin belongs to your local council, you’ll need to contact them. Depending on where you are, you may have to pay for a replacement wheelie. However, if your bin has disappeared and it emerges that the council has damaged it during collection, you shouldn’t have to pay.
Stop your bin from going missing again
It can be a huge inconvenience to have your bin lost or stolen. But there are some ways you can stop it from happening again.
Firstly, don’t put your bin out too early for collection. Seeing your bin out on the street all night might prove too tempting for vandals. Similarly, try to bring it back onto your property as soon as possible after its collection. If you’re not going to be at home, ask a trusted neighbour to take your bin in for you.
Secondly, label your bin clearly with at least your house number. This will reduce the chance of a lost bin, as will customising your bin with stickers or similar. Your average bin thief isn’t likely to steal a wheelie full of identifiable brightly coloured stickers!
Another thing you can do to avoid a stolen or lost bin situation is to keep it out of sight on your property. A fenced-off back garden with a locked gate is ideal. Other things you can do to keep your bin secure include investing in wheelie bin storage or a bin lock.
We hope we’ve shed some light on what to do about a lost bin. For more advice and interesting articles on all things wheelie bins, check out the rest of our blog.