Council calls in police as probe continues

The two black wheelie bins - one inside the other - were dumped on council land at the side of the O'Neill Road. They were removed a short time later by council staff. INNT 10-500CON
The two black wheelie bins - one inside the other - were dumped on council land at the side of the O'Neill Road. They were removed a short time later by council staff. INNT 10-500CON

Newtownabbey Borough Council has confirmed that it has contacted the PSNI about allegations that a member of staff has been selling off household bins for personal profit.

Following initial publication of the ‘bin complaint probe’ story last month, a man claiming to be a Carnmoney businessman contacted the Times alleging that he had purchased two black refuse bins from a council employee for £10 each after being told they were “promotional bins”.

The man called again a few days later saying that he “felt like he had been put in a terrible position” and didn’t want anything to do with the matter. He said that he had dumped the two bins, which normally retail to ratepayers for around £40 each, on council land at O’Neill Road near Glengormley.

A council spokesperson confirmed this week that staff did recently recover two black bins from land at O’Neill Road, and that the bins form part of an ongoing investigation. She added that the local authority has never sold black refuse bins as promotional items.

The spokesperson declined to say whether or not an audit has been carried out to find out if any bins are missing from the council’s Central Services Depot, but confirmed that the PSNI has been informed about the allegations.

“The investigation is ongoing and will continue until all lines of enquiry have been exhausted,” she commented.

A PSNI spokesman said that officers are “still awaiting the result of the council’s own internal investigation to see if any offences have been noted” before deciding if any further action needs to be taken.