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Wheelie Bins

Posted by Big Boo on March 28th, 2011

Wheelie BinsInspiration for things to write about on this site sometimes comes at the most unlikely of times. The other day I was throwing away some rubbish in our wheelie bin when I suddenly caught notice of the number “1985” built into the plastic of the lid. I must have opened and closed that bin lid thousands upon thousands of times by now, and yet this innocent little number had never caught my eye until then.

All of a sudden I was reminded of when our household took delivery of our shiny new wheelie bin. We take them for granted now but for some reason I seem to recall there being a lot of moaning and groaning amongst the various adults we knew about these new fangled bins.

It shows has resistant to change we must all become as we get older. I’m sure there were complaints about the bin starting to smell from being reused too much, or that they would start to break and need replacing, and maybe even the indignity of having to drag your bin back up to your house after it had been emptied.

Having grown up with them I can only see them as a Good Idea. They are far more sturdy than an old plastic refuse sack, or black bin bag as we always used to call them. If the lid of our bin is anything to go by it was made in 1985 meaning its now over 25 years old and its still in excellent condition (if perhaps a little smelly, but just keep the lid shut and its not a problem!).

In the long run they must have also saved both a lot of money and plastic, what with the council now no longer having to dish out new bin bags each week. We might be big on recycling now, but the seeds of the movement were sewn back in the Eighties, albeit partly due to the hysteria about things like the hole in the ozone layer.

As a kid I always found it fascinating to watch the bin men wheel the bins onto the back of the rubbish lorry, then see it lift up the bins and empty them out (and if I’m honest I still enjoy watching it now).

Whilst on the subject of the lorries, a little aside. I remember our council trialling a new type of lorry in the early to mid Nineties that was even better than the standard back loading lorry to watch, but sadly I’m sure was far less efficient in terms of collection speed.

This new lorry had a big arm came out the side of the lorry, grabbed the bin and lifted it right into the air, tipping its contents into the very top of the lorry. Cool to watch, but it failed dismally if there were too many cars parked on the side of the road.

We now have two wheelie bins assigned to us. A regular black one for normal waste and a green one for garden waste (brilliant for putting the lawn trimmings in), plus two plastic crates for recycling paper and glass, and a big bag for putting out plastic items and tins. On “recycling day” it looks funny to see so many things left out on people’s driveways, and yet I believe in some parts of the UK people have even more things to put out than this!

So, good old wheelie bins, eh? How many bins do you now have to put out on bin day, or are there still some areas where you still have to put out black plastic bin bags for refuse collection? Have you ever had to have your wheelie bin replaced because it fell apart? Do let us know by posting a comment below.