Providing public litter bins and waste containers is not as simple a task as it may first appear. There is more to the humble outdoor and public bin than just being a receptacle for rubbish. And quite often, if when local authorities, hospitals or other public body gets their waste bin decisions wrong – it can be disastrous and expensive.

There is so much to think of when supplying public bins and there is more to it than just supplying somewhere for the public to throw their litter.

Size, quantity and location

highly important as too small a bin, not enough of them or the wrong locations will just ensure littering continues. Establish the footfall in the area; what type of businesses are in the location (such as fast food places) and how often the bins get empties to ensure you get the right size and quantity. And place them where they are clearly visible and easy to access – a bin outside a fast food restaurant should be outside, not across the road!


If there are food businesses around then you will need to ensure that there is appropriate external bins provided for customers. These will need lids as the smell of rotting food is not only unpleasant it will attract vermin.

Transparent bins prevent explosive devices from being hidden

Transparent bins prevent explosive devices from being hidden

Fire retardant and Bomb threats

Often a consideration in public buildings like hospitals. Litter can often a be a source of fire so fire retardant bins are important as lives could be at risk. Also in public areas bins and waste containers have been used by terrorists and many public areas in countries that suffer this sort of problem use transparent bins to prevent the hiding of explosives.


A public bin needs to be tough and secure enough that it can’t be tipped over by vandals otherwise it will constantly get kicked over, spewing litter across the public are – making the bin pointless.

Sanitary Bins

In places like hospitals or public washrooms appropriate sanitary bins need to be used to prevent spread of disease. Regular bins should never be used for things like ladies hygiene products or waste bandages.

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