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Trail cam uncovers mystery of Port Byron man’s disappearing garbage cans

PORT BYRON, Illinois -- A Port Byron man says he's stuck in the middle of a trashy situation because of some missing garbage cans.

This spring, Ken Brown noticed his trash cans were disappearing from the bottom of his driveway.

"I'm thinking that the wind blew them into the ravine, and after I searched the ravine, my cans were not there," said Brown.

At first, he thought it was a prank. After it happened five times, though, he set up a trail camera to catch the culprit.

As it turns out, Brown's cans were being dumped right into the Republic garbage truck.

"It shows [the arm] going up, and it shows it coming down empty. No can there. It's very obvious that can ended up in the truck," said Brown. "I was like, 'Oh my God, I cannot believe this guy took my trash can and never left a note or anything.'"

Brown filed a report with the Rock Island County Sheriff's Department, and the next day, Republic left a new, company-standard garbage can in his driveway.

However, Brown is still looking for answers and seeking reimbursement for the other four cans. He says he was never notified that his cans were ending up in the truck or about any size requirements for personal trash cans.

"Here's a garbage man who is paid to pick up my garbage, and he's doing trashy work! And I'm paying for it," said Brown.

A Republic spokesperson says when customers set up service, they are encouraged to use Republic Services carts, which are made specifically for the type of truck that collects the bins each week. The company guarantees replacement or repairs for customers using Republic carts.

If customers, such as Brown, choose to use their own bin, it is at their own risk/liability.