A young boy obsessed with litter bought a real-life bin lorry on eBay with his mother's credit card for £3,500.
William Bateman, aged five, put in a winning bid for the rusting white truck after his mum left her account open on the computer.
The youngster, who suffers from mild autism, is fascinated by rubbish and dreams of becoming a recycling plant manager.
He has a large collection of toy wheelie bins, high-vis jackets, miniature lorries and packaging.
A real-life rubbish truck would have been the ultimate addition to his store.
But on returning to the computer Fleur managed to persuade eBay to scrap the purchase.
Fleur, from Great Paxton in Cambridgeshire, said: 'He's just completely obsessed with rubbish and bin lorries - and he even managed to buy one for himself.
'He just went onto my computer and entered the bid as I was already logged into my account.
'I had to beg them to retract my bid when I was congratulated on my win on the site.
'I can laugh about it now but at the time I was so shocked and angry, I couldn't believe he'd done it.'
William, now eight, is so dedicated to his future career he eagerly watches the bin men in action every week.
The cheeky schoolboy even takes it upon himself to educate his parents' friends about recycling and tells them off if they are not doing it right.
Fleur added: 'When he was younger the only way we got him to learn to count was by cutting out pictures of bin trucks and helping him count them.
'He always asks people, even strangers, about when their binmen come and if they are recycling.
'We went on holiday and he just started opening a stranger's bin and checked it and started saying 'you've got this in the wrong bin.
'It is funny and strange but it's also amazing because he can have the best time with a piece of paper, he's not expensive.'
William said: ' think it's really important to recycle and put rubbish in the bin. I love all my bins and I know lots about it.'
Mum-of-three Fleur, who runs a B&B with husband Paul, 45, spent months searching for a children's book about a binman after William insisted he didn't want to read about anything else.
She ended up having to make up her own stories and has now turned them in a childrens' book called Burt the Binman.