While we use them every day and have one in virtually every room of the home, office and even high street, few of us ever give the rubbish bin but thought. But bins, like most tools we use, are designed with different applications and practicalities in mind.

Use, type of waste, safety, ergonomics, health and hygiene are all issues that go into the design process of a rubbish or waste bin. And for bins around the home, style is also a factor with many designer, retro and stylized rubbish b ins produced to match the fixtures, furnishings and fittings of people’s homes.

Many bins seem quite innocuous but often there has been some clever design processes gone into their manufacture, here are some great bin designs.

The pedal bin – it has been around for decades but the pedal bin is one of those really ingenius and simple design solutions to a common problem. When we use bins in the kitchen, having to handle it can transfer germs, which , inevitably means every time we use the kitchen bin we have to wash our hands.

Pedal bins do away with this, which is why so many people use them. There are alternatives to the peal bin, designed to solve the same problem. Swing top bins allow food to be dropped on the top that yields (by swinging) to allow the items into the container. They do have a couple of drawbacks. Firstly a swing-top bin’s lid is not very tight so smells can easily seep out, and secondly, a swingtop can get dirty very quickly so it has to be cleaned regularly.

Sensor Bin - opens automatically

Sensor Bin – opens automatically

There is another solution, however, a modern and sophisticated one, the sensor bin. As the name suggests the sensor bins have an inbuilt sensor that can detect when you near the bin. With a battery powered electric motor the bin lid will rise and fall, giving you time dispose of the waste and doing away with the need to touch the bin.

Pedal, swing-top and sensor bins are three methods that designers have come across to solve a simple waste disposal problem and goes to show just how much thought goes into designing the humble rubbish bin.

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