Wheelie bin mistake causes 'common' problem for Aussie residents

A video shared online shows a a garbage truck collecting and swallowing the bin, and how you place your bins might be to blame.

Garbage truck collecting rubbish from wheelie bin
A garbage truck accidentally swallowed a wheelie bin while collecting the rubbish. Source: reddit

Footage showing a garbage truck swallowing a wheelie bin has baffled residents who say they finally know what happened to their missing bins — and it could come down to how they're placed on the street for collection.

Video taken from a home security camera shows a Geelong council vehicle stopping outside a Melbourne home to collect the rubbish. However, as the claw lifts the bin to empty it, the whole thing accidentally falls into the truck.

Loads of Aussies admit something similar has happened to them proving it's an all too common mistake. Earlier this month, Yahoo News Australia spoke to a Western Australian man who admitted this exact scenario happened to him, but he only discovered the truth after watching his home security footage.

"Happened to my general waste bin. I thought someone had nicked it, but one of the neighbours saw it get swallowed," another person commented on the video shared on reddit this week.

"Same for me. A new one was easy to get and free but still, seems like a waste," another shared.

'It happens more often than you think'

Photos from the Bulla Organics Facility in Victoria — which processes 85,000 tonnes of green organics, lawn clippings, garden waste and food scraps annually — and taken by a local photographer show a mountain of wheelie bins that have been collected from across the state.

"It happens more often than you think," one person said sharing a link to the photographer's website.

"Apparently having a bin fall inside the rubbish truck on collection day is a common occurrence," the photographer Marcus Wong wrote. "They get screened out of the incoming waste stream, then separated out into plastic to be recycled and the wheels that are returned for reuse."

PIled of dumped wheelie bins at the Bulla Organics Facility in Victoria. Source: Waking up in Geelong/Marcus Wong
Pile of dumped wheelie bins at the Bulla Organics Facility in Victoria. Source: Waking up in Geelong/Marcus Wong

Council responds to wheelie bin claims

Despite the claims, James Stirton, City Infrastructure Executive Director for Geelong City Council said "these types of incidents are rare".

"Less than 0.03 per cent of bins collected each week end up lost or stolen," he told Yahoo. "While these types of incidents are rare, they are difficult to avoid completely".

That's because "of the wide variety of areas and environmental factors on our routes, with over 244,000 bins in Greater Geelong being lifted in all weather every week," he explained.

Residents could be to blame for missing bins

Stirton also revealed what residents can do to ensure their bins stay put.

"One way to reduce the risk is to make sure your bin is always placed on the nature strip for collection, not on the road," he said, suggesting doing this ensures proper grip of the bin.

"Our customer service team is always ready to help and can organise a bin replacement quickly, with no additional cost to residents."

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