We probably walk past dozens each day and not give them a second thought but the public waste bin is a crucial part of ensuring we are not wading down the high street knee-deep in discarded rubbish.
But unlike internal waste bins for our homes and offices, the public litter bin has to cope with higher demands and risks that are not a consideration external bins.
Public bins have to have a larger capacity than those we use in our homes. While we may have half-a-dozen people at home throwing rubbish and litter in it, a public waste bin will have hundreds and perhaps thousands.
They also have to be sturdy. Even the common-or-garden plastic dustbin or trash can would not last too long in a public environment. Many of the public waste receptacles are manufactured from tough polymers that are not only resistant to the rigours of the weather but can they are often fire proof, an important consideration with something that may sit on a high street amongst the general public
Sadly, bins in outdoor locations have to be resistant to vandals and thieves too. For this reason many are wall mounted of bolted to the floor. Some public bins even have a locking mechanism to prevent people from emptying the contents on the floor.
They also have to come in numerous designs for the types of locations they may be placed in and the types of waste they are likely to encounter. Hospital bins, wall mounted ashtrays, bins for schools, high streets, and parks all require different designs.
Outdoor bins need also to be plentiful. If there are not enough of them then littering will soon become a problem. Many people will use bins if they are there, but if not, they may be inclined to dispose of there rubbish on the pavement.
And the right location is just as important. Along busy while they may be unsightly, they still need to be placed along thoroughfares and be clearly visible. A litter bin tucked around the corner or hidden behind a building will be useless. They need to clearly visible and accessible otherwise they just won’t get used.