The only official magazine of The Cleaning Show

Demand for locking wheelie bins rises as identity theft runs rampant

Published 18th June, 2015 by Neil Nixon

Demand for locking wheelie bins rises as identity theft runs rampant

Criminal gangs are rummaging through domestic and commercial bins looking for items that can be used for fraud and identity theft. The problem has reached such epidemic proportions in some areas that one national waste and recycling company is calling for lockable waste bins for households.

According to government statistics, identity theft hits the UK economy for £3.3 billion per year - an average of £100 per British household, making the cost of adding locks to bins seem like small change, the Business Waste company says.

"Despite the prevalence of online phishing scams, pulling paperwork out of rubbish bins remains the most effective way of stealing somebody's identity," said spokesperson, Mark Hall. "It only takes the experienced crook a few minutes to get everything they need - names, addresses, dates of birth, and even signatures. They can steal the identity of everybody in a whole street in just one night."

Lockable waste bins are already widely used for the disposal of clinical waste, and are of exactly the same design as domestic wheelie bins. They typically cost £40 more than conventional bins, but with the very large numbers required to cover an entire council district, that price difference will inevitably narrow.

"In the long run, it would prove far cheaper to modify existing wheeled bins with locks," said Hall. "Yes, it would cost money, but the long-term savings would be immense. With the help of banks and their insurers who ultimately bear the brunt of identity theft, it would pay for itself in the first year."

Article links