Youngster becomes ‘Billy the bin man’ for the day

William with bin crew (from left to right) Andy Fishburn (loader), Danny McDermott (HGV driver) and Adam Flores (loader)
William with bin crew (from left to right) Andy Fishburn (loader), Danny McDermott (HGV driver) and Adam Flores (loader)

MOST four-year-old boys dream about being super-heroes or famous football stars but not William Horrocks from Atherton.

Little William is “obsessed” with bins and idolises the Wigan Council crew who collect his family’s rubbish. So as a special surprise treat for his birthday, William’s auntie contacted the council and organised for the youngster to have a trip around the waste depot and a ride in one of their bin lorries. William, his dad and granddad were shown around the site by the crew who collect their bins each week.

Chris Lewis, William’s auntie, said: “He had an absolutely wonderful time. The crew were so kind to him. They even gave him a high-visibility jacket and a pair of gloves. He slept in the jacket for the first three nights after his trip and only took the gloves off when he had a bath.

“It sounds funny but he is obsessed with bins and the bin crews. It started about two years ago. Bin day is the highlight of the week. William knows exactly what day and what time the crew come. He makes us all stand outside and wave to them. We’ve been doing it so long now the lads recognise William and wave back.”

William, who starts at Chowbent Primary School in Atherton this September, was given a guided tour of the council’s recently opened depot in Ince. He got to ride in the bin lorry and see where the waste the crews collect ends up. His dad Peter and granddad Jack accompanied him on the tour.

It came about after William’s auntie got in touch with council officers. Chris said: “I just knew he would love to see the depot so thought it would be a lovely treat for his birthday. I emailed the council and was delighted when they invited William for a tour. Everyone was so nice to him. I can’t thank the council enough. He’s been telling everyone he’s been to see his friends at the depot.

“William really is obsessed with bins. He knows exactly which different bin all the rubbish should go in. The first thing he asks when he comes to my house is can he put my rubbish out.”

The multi-million pound depot is not usually open to members of the public but council staff made an exception for William.

Terry Dunn, director of environment at Wigan Council, said: “William is a lovely little lad and our refuse team were delighted they could make his birthday special. It’s great that he is so keen on recycling and putting rubbish in the right bin. He’s an example to us all.

“William hasn’t even started school yet but in 15 years or so, if he wants a job in our refuse teams, as long as I’m still here, I’d certainly employ him.”

The team who showed William round said it was a special day for them too. Refuse collection loader Adam Flores said: “We have seen William when we’ve been out on our collection round and he always waves so it was nice to see him in the depot and how happy he was with the visit.”

His colleague Andy Fishburn said: “It’s always nice to know you’ve made a difference and the smile on William’s face during the visit proved this.”

HGV driver Danny McDermott said: “It was nice to meet William and show him around my wagon. I also managed to take him for a ride in the depot, which put a big smile on his face.”