If the true measure of civilization lies in how that civilization treats its lowest and unluckiest, the next measure of civilization can be found in the garbage bins populating its sidewalks and residential areas. Bins have become accessorized in no small amount, producing bins of many different shapes, sizes and colours regulated by certain standardized measurements and constructions. Most people don’t put any thought into the colour of their bins, but that won’t stop the bins from revealing some very thoughtful things about their people.

The unconscious relationship most homeowners have with their bins means that whatever shape, size or colour they choose will be chosen on an unconscious level, and can be construed as a subconscious expression. People are excused for being sceptical, but the fun truth of the matter is that a garbage bin is as much a part of a home’s presentation as a lawn ornament, the paint colour of the house itself or the car model parked in the driveway – if not quite as enjoyable as any of the three, and quite a bit smellier even at its most functional. The colours of bins can reveal more than a few noteworthy character traits, but only if people are observant enough to take note.

A quick snooping around a neighbourhood block will reveal an interesting coincidence about the ways in which bin colours reflect the personalities or habits of the home owners. Standardized bin colours can vary from place to place, but those homes that have amassed a number of standardized bins are often the houses with the most aesthetic conformity in their lawns and decorations. It takes quite an eccentric character to deliberate over the colour of his or her garbage bin, but a citizen who will put an amount of thought and effort into choosing just the right hue and tone for what is essentially a trash dump can also be counted on to provoke the boring conformities of the neighbourhood with their own interesting decorations. A neighbour whose creativity extends even to his or her bin is going to be a sunny fellow indeed.

Brightly coloured bins like orange and red connote a friendly if loud homeowner, while muted tones tend to follow similarly muted personalities. The reason these correlations can be made come down to the essential sub-consciousness of choosing a bin colour, since most people will not be consciously aware of such a cursory choice and therefore make a choice that is more revealing of their inner habits or proclivities.

To know the measure of any man or woman, first measure the appearances of their smallest negligence – with garbage bins counting as one of the most noticeable and neglected aspects of homeowner design. While it’s true that the vast majority of bins will fit in to the conformity of muted and dark colours that are often mandatory, this only helps to contrast with the few brave souls who see the prospect of a garbage bin as something to truly express themselves with. It would not be unfounded to immediately befriend anyone who owns a bright yellow bin, and for that reason alone bins are more telling about the personalities of their owners than some pets.

The garbage is an unlikely place to look for your personality, but doing so can reveal fun facts that aren’t nearly as unpleasant as the aforementioned trash dumped within. Human beings naturally gravitate towards certain colour palettes in order to evoke certain moods from the hues and tones, and bins can be extensions of those gravitations; provided resident laws and restrictions don’t limit the delightful assortment of bin colours into a choice of grey-black or grey-‘slightly less black’.

That said, you would be likely to find out more about a person’s personality rooting through their trash than observing their bins, but that’s another conversation for another day.

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