Damaged and missing household wheelie bins – including stolen and vandalised ones – have cost Wyndham council more than $72,000 during the past year.

In the past 12 months, the council has spent $72,399 on repairing and replacing stolen, missing and damaged residential bins.

Wyndham’s city operations director Stephen Thorpe said the council had spent $40,895 replacing more than 1280 rubbish and recycling bins, which residents had reported as stolen or missing in the last financial year.

He said that within the same timeframe, the council also spent $31,504 on fixing and replacing more than 4500 damaged and vandalised wheelie bins.

Mr Thorpe said the council was responsible for more than 70,000 residential wheelie bins.

“For residents, having their garbage or recycling bins stolen can be a frustrating situation, which is why we work hard to replace or repair them as quickly as possible,” he said.

There is no way for the council to tell how many household bins are actually stolen and vandalised, apart from bins which are just lost or which have been damaged in some other way – such as by the weather or getting hit by a vehicle.

Nonetheless community groups have said the money which the council has been forced to spend on replacing and fixing wheelie bins could be better spent on initiatives to help the environment.

The Friends of Skeleton Creek secretary Denice Perryman said it was a pity that bin thieves and vandals were forcing the council to spend so much money on replacing and repairing bins.

“I’d far rather see the money spent on the environment than replacing wheelie bins,” Ms Perryman said.

See wyndham.vic.gov.au or contact the council on 9742 0777 to report damaged or stolen bins.