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A story of how a bin crew brightens the day of one little boy

9:58 am, Tuesday, 7th December 2021 - 3 years ago


Here’s a story about how one North East Lincolnshire Council bin crew has been putting a smile on the face of a three-year-old boy.

Mason Foley from Laceby loves nothing more than greeting his favourite bin crew as they pull down his grandparents, Jo and Chris Brook’s, street to collect their garden waste.

A beaming smile and big waves welcome Nik Underwood and Paul Hines as they carry out their round.

Mason likes them so much that his grandad Chris has created his very own bedtime storybook, which Mason insists on being read from start to finish, with no skipping of the pages.

“Mason has liked bin lorries for a long time, but a while ago, he started asking for bedtime stories about bin lorries and of course Nik and Paul,” says Chris.

“It grew from there and the story evolved to make it longer to try and make him sleep. When he started asking his parents for the story, he would tell them off if they missed something so I decided to make up the book for them so they wouldn’t get told off! Most times, we have to tell him the story at least twice before he nods off and he even knows what comes next now.”

Mason’s love for the bin crews began when he first started standing. He would stand at the window of his grandparents’ house in Laceby and watch the different crews.

Mason jumps off the table and runs to the door when he hears the rumble of the bin lorry. He sees Nik flashing his lights and Paul would always take the time to say hello to him when emptying the bins.

Mason has to watch the bin men empty the bin and checks that it is empty, says Chris. He then has to watch the lorry go to the other end of the close and come back again. It is only when the lorry turns the corner and heads off down the street that Jo and Chris can take Mason back inside again.

Chris added: “It is safe to say that Nik has made the biggest impression on Mason through his acknowledgement of Mason’s interest in bin lorries and his attitude towards him. He is a special figure in Mason’s life, which is another reason for making the book, as a reminder for Mason in the future.

“It means so much to see the excitement in Mason’s eyes when he sees the bin lorry, particularly with everything going on in the world.

“Mason sits on the bench outside the tip every now and again and all of the bin crews wave as they come back. The bin crews are amazing with him and always wave as they go in and out. Mason always saves a special wave for Nik and we aren’t allowed to leave until all of the bin crews have left in their cars.”

Kate Fox, waste team manager at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “This is such a heart-warming story and I’m so proud of our staff for continuing to go above and beyond. All our crews are so appreciated for what they do, and to hear Nik and Paul are adding an extra special personal touch for this little boy makes me so happy. They make such a fuss of Mason, pretending he is part of their crew and really make him feel involved. The storybook his grandad Chris has created really is something special. Nik and Paul are clearly an inspiration to Mason and his family.”

Councillor Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for environment and transport, added: “What a wonderful idea this storybook is, and I am so pleased our very own staff play starring roles in it and are inspiring this little boy. Along with our Crew of the Year awards which highlighted our amazing staff, this is just a further example of our bin workers going above and beyond.”

Remember, bin days change in the Christmas holiday. Check your dates online at Please remind your neighbours, it’s easy to forget.

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