RUBBISH bin thieves are costing south-west councils tens of thousands of dollars a year and annoying residents.
In an effort to clean-up the practice Glenelg Shire Council has warned it will call in police if multiple bins are found on properties.
According to mayor John Northcott stolen and lost bins cost the council up to $15,000 a year.
“For the past 10 years, between 100 and 150 bins have been reported as missing each year,” he said.
“The kerbside collection contractor has been requested to document properties that have more than one of each bin placed out to be serviced and check this information against the records of bins allocated to the property.
“It is hoped that over time additional bins will be identified, allowing officers to take the appropriate action to retrieve these bins.”
Warrnambool City Council also said bin replacement cost sthousands of dollars a year.
However, the city is taking a more softly-softly approach by encouraging residents to put address identification on their bins. “This will be a deterrent to thieves and make it easier to reunite wayward bins with their owners,” communications manager Nick Higgins said.
“We also advise people to put their bins out as late as possible before pick-up and retrieve them as soon as possible afterwards.”
Replacement bins cost about $65-$70. Corangamite Shire Council said there were isolated cases of missing bins and residents should report incidents to police and council staff.
Cr Northcott said the council was within its rights to take reasonable steps to retrieve lost or stolen property.
“Council pays for the cost of bin replacements if the resident provides a police report or statutory declaration that the bin was stolen,” he said.