A Buckinghamshire man who claims his black bin was 'stolen' by a council contractor has received a formal apology from the authority. Robert Rainey, who lives in The Rise, Western Dene, in Hazelmere contacted the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), saying the general waste bin was “stolen” by the local authority’s contractor Veolia.

The incident happened on his collection date on Tuesday, September 20, at around 8.30am when he and his partner Tracey Middleton saw a bin man throw their black bin into the refuse vehicle. According to Mr Rainey, who is a full-time carer for his partner, Ms Middleton ran outside in her dressing gown to confront the binman who said he was ordered to pick up the “broken” bin.

However, the couple denies their bin was damaged, saying it was in “near perfect” condition. They were left without a black bin for more than two weeks and were told by the council to buy another one for £55 following an investigation by Veolia that concluded they did not take their bin.

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Mr Rainey said: “[The bin] was taken against our knowledge and will. I can’t fork out £55 in today’s climate.” After the LDRS contacted the Council and Veolia, they confirmed they have U-turned and given Mr Rainey and Ms Middleton a new bin free of charge.

Cllr Gareth Williams, cabinet member for climate change and environment , said: “We are aware of this issue and apologise for any inconvenience caused. We can now confirm that a new bin has been delivered at the property free of charge.

"We would like to remind residents that we only replace bins for free if we have evidence that they are damaged by natural wear or tear, or by a crew member.”

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