The missing bins of suburbia: Gran solves mystery of vanishing bins

EXCLUSIVE: The missing bins of suburbia: Super sleuth grandmother solves mystery of vanishing wheelie bins when she turns to CCTV to find dustmen hurling them into bin lorry

  • EXCLUSIVE: Amanda Nicholson, 46, caught binman chucking bin into his lorry
  • CCTV shows him putting on a ‘strong man act’ and launching it into the truck 

A grandmother mystified by a spate of of missing bins down her street learned the truth when she turned to CCTV to solve the baffling whodunnit.

Amanda Nicholson, 46, put her bin out as normal in Wythenshawe, Manchester, on Sunday July 10, only to discover it was missing the next day.

It was not the first time the mystery bin thief had struck.

Amanda’s grey bin had already gone missing along with another resident’s bin two weeks before.

And the shocking truth emerged when neighbour Emma Probert checked her CCTV to discover the ‘peculiar’ scene.

‘Shocking’ video footage shows the man emptying Amanda’s green bin into the van before ‘checking nobody is watching’, then doing a ‘strong man act’ and launching the whole bin into the back of the truck.

Mother-of-five Amanda was so shocked watching Emma’s video that she wondered if her bin man had a personal ‘vendetta’ against her and if she had annoyed him in some way.

CCTV which shows a binman dumping an entire wheelie bin in his lorry

‘Shocking’ video footage shows the man emptying Amanda’s green bin into the van before ‘checking nobody is watching’, then doing a ‘strong man act’ and launching the whole bin into the back of the truck

Waste management services Biffa, who collect household and municipal waste on Manchester City Council’s behalf, apologised for the incident and said they were taking ‘internal action’ to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Biffa claimed that the man believed the bin to be damaged, but Amanda says that there was nothing wrong with it.

Meanwhile, neighbour Emma remains perplexed why the man looked round as if to check if anyone was watching before throwing it away.

Amanda said: ‘Part of me is furious, like how dare you treat my bin like that?

‘But the other part of me [thinks] the more I watch it, the funnier it gets.

‘In the video, it [the bin] comes down and he [the bin man] just picks it up, checks there’s nobody in the garden, and just throws it.

‘There he was, doing his strong man act with my bin.

‘The other bin man doesn’t even bat an eyelid either, like it’s normal.

‘Have I annoyed my bin man or something? Is it a vendetta?’

Amanda Nicholson (pictured), 46, put her bin out as normal in Wythenshawe, Manchester, on Sunday 10th July, only to discover it was missing the next day

When Amanda first noticed that her food and waste bin had disappeared she assumed Emma had accidentally taken it in so nipped across the road and wheeled her neighbour’s bin into her drive.

When Emma came home from work to discover she now had no bin, she checked her CCTV footage, which revealed the ‘peculiar’ scene.

Immediately, she knocked on Amanda’s door to retrieve her dustbin and tell the carer ‘your bin has been binned’.

The carer, unable to work out why her bin was binned, has since reached out to the council to request a new one, but revealed this wasn’t the first of her wheelie bins to go AWOL.

Amanda said: ‘It was a food and waste bin, my green bin.

‘It was just so random. If it got stuck on the back of the truck then I could understand it, but I can’t figure it out.

‘It wasn’t damaged either or anything.

‘I was shocked. I thought you can’t do that. I’ve gone through every scenario, and it’s confused me more than anything.

‘Of course the council money will be wasted too because they’ll now have to get a new bin.

‘It’s the damage too, it could damage the truck. You aren’t allowed to put anything in your green bin in case it has plastic in it but now there’s plastic in there.

‘I’ve got to get another bin. It’s a bit of a hassle, I’m going to have to go on and order one and wait.

‘Last summer, I applied to the council for a big bin as my husband’s disabled. I think you have to pay £20 for it.

‘I only had the big [grey] bin for about two months before it went missing.

‘I’ve heard of bins getting stuck and going missing before, I know it happens, but not this.’

Her neighbour Emma, who captured the footage, believes the ‘odd’ occurrence was definitely not an accident.

Emma, a driving instructor, said: ‘I got home from work and my bin had gone missing. I noticed my neighbour over the road had got my bin in her garden.

‘She didn’t realise she’d taken mine.

‘I wondered why so I rewound my cameras. I watched the bin man empty the bins, he didn’t look in them or anything, he just put them on the back of the wagon.

‘Mine had grass cuttings in, I don’t know what hers had in, I think she said weeds and bits and bobs.

‘They emptied it. It came off the wagon, it wasn’t broken or anything, and he just had a look around and chucked it in the wagon. Why?

‘It definitely wasn’t an accident.

‘We were in shock. I went over to her house and said ‘your bin has been binned’. I said there’s the video, it’s so peculiar. I’ve never seen anything like it before.

‘It’s so odd. People said it must have been broken but it wasn’t and there was nothing in it which shouldn’t have been because they just stick stickers on them and won’t empty them.

‘Two weeks ago, my other neighbour’s grey bin went missing which is really strange but I didn’t capture it on CCTV.

‘I know Manchester City Council say if there’s a problem with your bin they’ll stick a sticker on it.

‘If there’s rubber in it or anything in it they won’t empty it and they’ll tell you to sort your bins out.

‘If it’s broken, I’m sure they don’t just take them, they’ll bring you a new one and replace it or you’re left with no bin.

‘I do believe she’s made a complaint as she’s left with no bin now for food or garden waste.

‘They’re only emptied every two weeks, so we really need them.’

Amanda Nicholson is now missing her green bin after she caught a binman binning it

Emma posted the video online with the caption: ‘What a weird thing to do with the bin. Binned the bin [laughing emoji].’

One person commented: ‘That’s hardly biodegradable [nervous emoji].’

Another said: ‘Emotional bin man [laughing emoji, face palm emoji].’

Another said: ‘Not light them things, he must have been in a rage, or just ten men.’

A final put: ‘This happened to my neighbour and the council tried to charge him for a new one until he said he had the video, very similar to this one. There was nothing wrong with his bin.’

A spokesperson for Biffa said: ‘We would like to thank the resident for getting in touch and raising this with us. We apologise for the trouble this has caused.

‘Our loader believed the bin was damaged, however, this should have been reported to the office where we would arrange for it to be collected. A replacement bin has now been delivered to the resident and we will be taking internal action to ensure this doesn’t happen again.’

Manchester City Council have been contacted for a comment.

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