How To Keep Your Bin Safe
How To Keep Your Bin Safe
Do you know where your bin is? It may seem like an odd question, even a funny one – maybe the start of a joke – but when it comes to wheelie bins at this time of year, you might just find that yours have disappeared.
October and November see a huge increase in bin theft, and it is, police suggest, most likely to do with the prevalence of bonfires being built for Halloween and, of course, for 5th November itself. Big, plastic wheelie bins make a prime target for theft because they can be filled with plenty of flammable material and set alight easily – and they make the bonfire portable too. Perfect for those lighting less than legal fires in your local area.
Wheelie bins are an easy target. They are often left out overnight near the road, away from the front of the house, which means a theft is less likely to be noticed immediately. A thief intent on taking a wheelie bin away doesn’t even have to take the time to trespass to do it – if it’s on the pavement (or close to it) all they have to do it push it away with them.
And if your bin has been provided by your council, you are the one who will need to foot the bill if you need a new one due to theft or vandalism.
But there are some measures that wheelie bin owners can take to ensure – as far as possible – that their bin isn’t stolen, and doesn’t become a major fire hazard once it has been spirited away.
The first tip that police offer is to bring your bin is as soon as it has been emptied – or, if you are at work, for example, as soon as you get home. It can be tempting just to leave the bin where it is – we know – but that makes it a temptation to the kinds of people who think that setting fire to a wheelie bin sounds like a fun idea. And if you happen to be away, then why not ask your neighbours to bring your bin in when they wheel theirs back to the house? Or if you are at home and you know your neighbours are going to be out, why not bring theirs up too?
Next, don’t leave your bin out overnight either. Instead, take it to the street on the morning of your rubbish collection. And leave it to the last minute too.
As for storage, rather than keeping the bin at the front of the house, keep it round the side, or even at the back. Keep it somewhere that a thief would need to get through a locked gate or garage door to get to it. But remember: don’t keep your bin directly beneath a window either – if a thief wants to gain access to your house, a wheelie bin can make a great alternative to a stepladder. If the bin can only be stored at the front of the house for any reason, use a bike lock to keep it secure until you need to move it.
Finally, put your house number on your wheelie bin. It may not sound like much of a deterrent, but it can be sorely off putting to a thief if they know that they’ve stolen something immediately identifiable – they would have no excuse if they were found with it, would they?