Learner garbage truck driver caught on home CCTV 'swallowing' bin

'Funny' CCTV footage captures the moment a resident's bin quickly disappeared on collection morning.

Arriving home to find your wheelie bin has mysteriously vanished can be frustrating — but it's not always the case of a vindictive neighbour looking for a new one to call their own.

Just ask the scores of Aussies who've claimed a "hungry" garbage truck is the reason they've been temporarily left without a bin which can sometimes find its way into the back of the vehicle.

One man from Morley, Western Australia told Yahoo News Australia this exact scenario happened to him, but he only discovered the truth after watching his home security footage.

CCTV showing a garbage truck collecting rubbish with the bin falling into the truck.
CCTV captures the moment a wheelie bin falls into the garbage truck. Source: Facebook/The Bell Tower Times

"It was pretty funny actually, the truck had a learner's plate on it. It was pretty obvious it was an accident, he said. "Council quickly replaced the bin, they were very apologetic."

"Learners do make mistakes," the homeowner added. "I’m guessing that hydraulic arm can take a while to master."

CCTV shows 'hungry' garbage truck swallowing bin

The revelation came about after a video was shared on social media which shows a garbage truck doing the rounds in a neighbourhood in nearby Fremantle. As the hydraulic arm takes hold of the wheelie bin to empty its contents into the truck, the entire bin drops in instead leaving one unlucky resident without a bin.

Council confirms losing bins to garbage trucks 'can happen'

The City of Fremantle’s Waste Manager Vitor Martins told Yahoo News Australia "these things can and do happen" for various reasons — but when it does occur, "a swift replacement is guaranteed".

"Driver error, bin too slim or slippery for the waste truck's automated grasp, a rogue wind gust or all of the above," he explained, although "the cause of this particular bin's disappearance remains a mystery".

He noted the accidental theft of residents' bins is "not exclusive to Freemantle" and in his experience is "exceedingly rare" considering the number of rubbish collections weekly. "We can count on one hand the number of times this has happened over the past four years," he said.

Aussies reveal it's a common problem across council areas

However, the stunt shown in the video is a familiar sight for many Aussies who said the same has happened to them with their representative council swiftly sending a replacement.

"I've watched the bin man do this to us too! We got a replacement a day before bin day the following week," admitted one woman in the comments. "I literally just had my yellow bin replaced for this exact reason," another shared.

Garbage truck collecting wheelie bin on side of suburban street.
Another woman said the same thing happened to her with CCTV showing the bin fall into the truck. Source: Facebook

"It happens quite a lot, the council told me when I was ordering a new one after I watched the truck swallow my bin," said another.

He went on to say "squishing too much heavy stuff" inside the bin could possibly be another reason for this to happen. "If it expands back out against the side and can't fall out, the weight drags the bin out of the clamp," he explained.

How missing bins are reported

Martins said there are two main ways they're notified of a wheelie bin that's gone astray. First, they're notified by their "waste vigilantes.

"Those on the frontlines, the waste collection personnel themselves, often spot a bin mishap in action. Like superheroes, they swoop in and report the rebellious bin," he said.

The second is residents reporting a missing bin. "If the waste vigilantes don't see it, residents are the eyes and ears, reporting a lost bin. The City aims for same-day replacement, ensuring nobody gets left in rubbish limbo," he said.

Love Australia's weird and wonderful environment? Get our new newsletter showcasing the week’s best stories.