Residents are being asked to keep a close eye on their rubbish bins, with an alarming number stolen in the past year.
In 2013/14, Bass Coast Shire Council has had over 650 requests for new or replacement bins, with 995 delivered in the same time frame.
Bass Coast Shire Council’s Infrastructure Director, Felicity Sist, said about 20 per cent of these replacement bins were for new homes or businesses, or replacements for damaged bins. The large majority, however, were in response to bins stolen whilst out for collection, with many reported to have been removed from driveways or backyards at unoccupied homes.
“Replacing this number of bins comes at a significant cost to the community,” Ms Sist said.
“There are replacement and delivery costs for each bin of around $80, as well as taking our Customer Service and Waste Services staff several hours a week to receive and process these requests.”
Council is asking the community to help by clearly labelling bins and store them securely.
“Kerbside bins remain the property of Council, but residents and business owners are welcome to label their property’s bins in a unique way, or with their street number, address or business name to reduce the chance of theft,” Ms Sist said.
“We also ask the community to put bins in and out as close to their collection time, and to store bins securely between collections.”
Wonthaggi resident Derek Coull was tired of his bins getting stolen or getting taken to another property by accident, so he decided to label his bins in a unique way a few weeks ago.
“They went missing about six times in six months,” Mr Coull said.
“I figured spray paint can be wiped off pretty easily, so I drilled holes in the shape of a number eight, and then painted around them.”
Derek’s partner, Helen, said she was proud that he took his time to do it, and they are both happy their bins have not gone walkabout since.
Council now advises each customer who requests new bins to start storing bins in their backyard or garage.
Council’s mapping system records properties where new bins have been requested as a way to help us identify patterns and hot spot areas.
Ms Sist said ‘hot spot’ areas identified were within Wonthaggi and Cowes, with a large number of requests also coming from residents or property owners in Inverloch and Cape Paterson.
“Holiday homes seem to be targeted, so we encourage holiday home owners to make better friends with their neighbours who might be able to help put their bins in and out, or engage a home maintenance company.”