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4th December 2009

....DELAYS WITH RECYCLING COLLECTION DUE TO MAJOR THEFT OF BATTERIES FROM THE DUSTCARTS

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Police in Hereford are appealing for information after thieves broke into a Hereford refuse depot and stole batteries from most of the dustcarts. The incident occurred overnight (Thursday 3rd/Friday 4th) when thieves entered Herefordshire Council Grafton site and removed some 44 24v batteries from the refuse trucks (two per vehicle), each battery being valued at around 100 (total 4,400).

Police believe the batteries were removed on foot from the premises and loaded onto a waiting vehicle. They would like to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area during the evening/night. The thefts have had a debilitating effect on refuse collection in Hereford today, with the Council aiming to replace batteries as quickly as possible allowing crews to collect today's refuse as soon as possible.

Herefordshire Council say that Fosca have now replaced the batteries and all crews have now gone out and will be working late today to collect as much recycling and refuse as they can.

Richard Wood, Herefordshire Council's head of waste management, said: 'Residents are requested to leave their recycling and refuse out for the rest of today and crews will make every effort to collect even though this may be at a later time than normal, or even tomorrow (Saturday). If the recycling or refuse is not collected by Saturday, residents are asked to please take it back in and put it out on the next due collection day.

The theft has been reported to police who are investigating. Residents are reminded they can get a free text message service to remind them when their recycling collection day is. Anyone who registers for this service will receive a free text reminder at 6pm the evening prior to their recycling collection. To use this service simply text "hcrecycle", your postcode and first line of your address to 80800.

Anyone with information on the thefts is urged to contact PC Yvonne Mason at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. .


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