Bin raiding

Bin raiding is where someone searches the contents of bins that are not theirs.

Bin raiders look for semi valuable items from household and business bins. This is for them to clean up and sell on, or to get personal details.

A frequent problem associated with bin raiding is identity theft.

Identity theft is where someone’s personal information is used by someone else without their knowledge to commit fraud.

This information is often obtained from discarded documents scavenged and removed from waste and recycling bins, such as -

  • bank statements
  • credit card statements
  • other forms of billing information

Information obtained can be used to fraudulently get -

  • credit
  • goods
  • other forms of benefits and services

Identity fraud is one of the fastest growing crimes in the UK. According to Home Office statistics, an estimated 100,000 people are affected by this offence each year.

If you feel you may have been a victim of fraud, there is a network of support and information available to you. For further information contact -

Action Fraud – National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre

Manage your waste and recyclables responsibly. Stay alert to the potential warning signs of fraud. By doing this, you can reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime. This also helps to prevent local environmental issues and attract anti-social behaviour.

Examples of simple steps that can be taken -

  • only present your bins on collection days
  • do not leave your bins on the highway where they are accessible to others
  • store your bins between collections within the boundary of your property. Keep them in a location not accessible to others
  • lock and secure your bins if possible
  • do not present excess waste on or by your bins on collection days as these will not be collected
  • do not use rogue waste collectors

Legal obligations

Legal obligations are placed on householders and businesses as a waste holder. They need to ensure they take all reasonable steps to manage and dispose of wastes under the law. This includes recycling. These obligations are imposed on waste holders who -

  • produce
  • keep
  • store
  • transport
  • treat
  • dispose
  • recycle

This duty of care is imposed on waste holders under section 34 Environmental Protection Act 1990. It requires steps to be taken to follow the legal obligations imposed on them.

It is an offence not to follow this household duty of care. This can result in a fixed penalty, or prosecution.