THIEVES have caused chaos to bin collections in the borough after 14 bin wagons were broken into over Christmas and New Year.
The Tame Street depot in Stalybridge, which serves the whole of Tameside, was targeted twice.
Apart from the damage, 10 tablets that had been hardwired into the vehicles and which contained details of collection routes, were stolen along with a mobile phone.
Tameside Council, which has increased security at the depot, estimate the cost of the two raids as more than £50,000.
In the first incident one week before Christmas, nine wagons were targeted followed by a further five on January 7.
A Tameside Council spokesperson said: “We have experienced two break-ins at our refuse depot where 14 bin wagons have been broken into and 10 tablets that are hardwired into the vehicles, and a mobile phone, have been stolen.
“These have been immobilised making them of no value to anyone else.
“Police are investigating these crimes and we have passed on CCTV footage to them, increased security at the location and removed technology from the vehicles.
“The break-in and thefts before Christmas disrupted 10 bin collection rounds at the peak festive period and overall this has resulted in excess of £50,000 of damage and loss to the council, including repairs and service disruption, which is not only local taxpayers’ money but completely avoidable costs.
“Our bin wagon crews have worked tirelessly, particularly over the Christmas period, to recover the situation and ensure the minimum disruption to residents.”