Royal Mail apology after parcel left in recycling bin

Royal Mail has apologised to a Cambridge woman after a postal worker left a parcel in her wheelie bin, which was emptied before she got home.

The item was delivered to Claire Barnes while she was away for two days.

A note said the parcel had been left in the blue recycling bin, but when she checked it had already been emptied.

Royal Mail admitted correct delivery procedures were not carried out. Miss Barnes said: "It was all very muppet-like of them."

Miss Barnes had ordered the £5 item from eBay.

Royal Mail said it could not offer compensation without proof of purchase, which she did not have.

'Needle in haystack'

She contacted her local council and was told the bin's contents had already been taken to a recycling centre.

"I called them as I thought perhaps they might spot an unopened parcel and put it aside," Miss Barnes said.

"They were very sweet, and said they would keep an eye out for it, but it was a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack."

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: "A 'sorry, you were out' card should have been posted through the door informing them that the package had been returned to the local delivery office and listing various options available to them to retrieve it.

"Our staff are always reminded of the appropriate action to take if a customer is unavailable to accept a delivery."

Miss Barnes added: "When I put this out on Facebook I was amazed at how many other people had deliveries put in their bins.

"But they were luckier that me, and their parcels didn't end up recycled."

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