Never has something so innocent and mundane caused as much controversy since its inception than the wheelie bin. Wheelie bins have been around since the 1970’s and since their introduction in British society they are rarely out of the headlines.

There have even been campaigns by British newspapers to get them banned from the streets but are wheelie bins are practical solution for removing and handling waste so why have they been controversial. Partly, the reason lies in the conservative nature of the British householder, also combined with some myths propagated by the national press – wheelie bins have become notorious.

Blamed for rubbish reduction by stealth, accused of being dangerous and with stories of bugs, cameras and even bodies found in wheelie bins its no wonder they have a bad reputation. But here are some genuine facts and dispelled myths about the wheelie bin:

  • Practical: wheelie bins are a simple method of removing waste. They are safer to handle than waste bags where protruding items such as glass can snag a rubbish removal man. It’s a common misconception that the elderly or disabled struggle to move wheelie bins but the truth is that if somebody can carry a black bag full of rubbish they can manoeuvre a wheelie bin.
  • Wheelie bins can reduce waste. It is true that many councils do prefer wheelie bins to encourage a decline in the amount we throw away. But if we are allowed to dispose of whatever we like our council tax and rates will rise as a result – all councils are struggling to find landfill space to meet the nation’s needs.
  • Wheelie bins are also claimed to be unsightly but a wheelie bin is no more unsightly than a conventional bin or pile of black sacks. Waste has to be stored in something and most wheelie bins are in a neutral colour and are unassuming.

And while wheelie bins are not the complete answer to the problems of limited landfill and an increasing population alongside recycling bins, litter bins and other rubbish bins, they play a crucial role in part of the nation’s rubbish and waste management.

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