Wheelie bins are important. When it comes to keeping our environment as clean and tidy as possible (and that’s our very local environment, that’s our front doorsteps, as well as the environment as a whole), a wheelie bin is the best form of defence. Bin bags left outside are tempting to animals and birds who will quite happily rip them to pieces – and leave whatever they don’t want (which is most of the contents) strewn all over your driveway, your front garden, the pavement in front of your house… And the weather isn’t kind to black bags either. A high wind or torrential rain can wreak havoc with them, and again, your unmentionables (in waste form) can be spread across your world for all to see.
It’s unhygienic. And it’s embarrassing.
And it’s generally just not particularly pleasant. Which is why wheelie bins are so very important.
But as with everything that’s important in this world, we need to look after our wheelie bins. There are a number of ways to do this, and each of them will prolong the life of the bin itself as well as keeping it looking (and smelling!) in tip top condition.
Keep It Hidden
Thieves and vandals love to target wheelie bins. They are portable playthings for these less than intelligent beings who think it’s fun (and/or funny) to take other people’s possessions and set fire to them – or simply use them to make a mess. Whatever their reason (if they even have one), it’s safe to say that wheelie bins go missing fairly regularly. The best advice to give is to keep the bin hidden in a wooden wheelie bin storage unit. If possible, keep it in the back garden behind a locked gate, or in a garage where no one can see it.
Keep It Locked Up
If the size, shape, or type of property you live in means that you can’t hide the bin away, then it’s worth investing in a lock. A bicycle lock or even just a simple padlock and chain will work nicely, and put off anyone who was thinking about stealing your wheelie bin. A lock is a great deterrent, and it’s unlikely that any wheelie bin thief is going to want to bother with cutting equipment when there is another wheelie bin nearby that isn’t chained up.
Keep It Away From Your Building
Although we recommend that you keep your wheelie bin closer to your house than the road, we’re not suggesting that you keep it too close. If the wheelie bin is leant up against a fence, an outbuilding, or anything else for that matter, thieves might choose to use it as a makeshift ladder to gain access to your property. As well as this, if it was set alight then the fire could easily spread to your home, making what might seem like an insignificant issue into a much larger one.
Keep It Small
Sometimes one wheelie bin for a growing family (or even a grown one) just isn’t enough. If that’s the case for you, contact your local council to find out about getting a new bin or, if your council doesn’t supply them, look online to buy one for yourself. If you’re consistently running out of space when it comes to getting rid of your weekly or fortnightly rubbish, the chances are your bin is just too small. To make the most of the space you have, make sure you crush or compact your rubbish as much as possible before putting it into the bin. Don’t squash it down once it’s inside though – all that does is squish the bags too much so that they are difficult to get out without ripping, or it rips them in the first place. Either way, compacting the rubbish before popping it into the big is the best idea. And if you’re really having trouble, why not ask your neighbour if you can put a bag or two into their bin (assuming it’s emptier than yours)?
Keep It Short
Your bin should only go out onto the street on the morning of your rubbish collection day, and it should be taken in as soon as you can after the bin lorry has come and done its thing. If your neighbour is away, or they’ve simply forgotten that it’s collection day (it happens), then take their bin out for them too. It’s a nice thing to do but more than that it will stop their rubbish from becoming smelly and unsightly over the next week or two as well.
Keep It Cold
Nothing hot should ever be placed into your bin. That goes for the obvious such as hot ash, cigarettes, or embers from a fire, but it also goes for hot food too. Ashes and cigarettes and so on are a fire hazard, and it can take just seconds for a sealed plastic container to become a blazing fire which, if you’re not aware of it and you open the lid, can rage out of control due to the sudden addition of oxygen. That’s bad news, and it could cause you some major injuries – or worse. But putting hot food into your wheelie bin isn’t a good idea either. It won’t cause a fire, but it will cause bacterial issues which, if there is a problem with the bin and the rubbish does get out, will be much worse than if the food had been allowed to cool.
Keep A Lid On It
If you can’t close the lid of your wheelie bin, it’s too full. That’s a good rule of thumb to work by. But if you can close the lid, you should. If the lid isn’t closed, the contents of your bin will have no protection against the elements of the wildlife around, which can cause some serious problems.
Keep It Clean
Finally, your wheelie bin needs to be cleaned – inside and out – on a regular basis. It will stop it from stinking, and stop anything nasty that might be living in there from attacking the bin itself and making it less structurally sound. Wheelie bins can last for many years if they are looked after properly.