Wheelie bins, things you might not know

Wheelie bins are one of those things in life that are pretty important, but not that interesting if we’re honest. As long as they don’t leak, the wheels stay on, and the lid closes properly most people don’t give them a second thought. But there are some things that you might not know about the humble bin.

The modern plastic wheelie bin as we know it was invented by a company called Frank Rotherham Mouldings in the UK on 12 March 1968. Before that, most households had noisy, dirty metal bins that were hard to keep clean and heavy for refuse collectors to pick up and empty.

You may find that somewhere on your bin is a DB mark followed by a number. Bizarrely, this is a decibel marking and the number is the loudest noise that your bin is allowed to make. But my bin doesn’t make any noise you might be thinking. But it does, the wheels make a noise, and the lid makes a noise when slammed shut, and due to an EU ruling, bins are only allowed to make a certain level of noise. Sounds crazy, but it’s true.

Did you know that it’s illegal to use someone else’s wheelie bin? You might be walking along eating an ice cream and when you come to the end, rather than put the paper in your pocket, yuk! Or discard it on the floor, you pop it in a wheelie bin that you pass on the pavement. Seems harmless enough, but technically you’re breaking the law. Believe it or not, it’s a form of antisocial behaviour and is seen as ‘fly-tipping’.

Conversely, is it okay to take something out of someone else’s wheelie bin? We can’t imagine you’d want to, but if you did see something tempting sticking out of the lid as you walked by, a nice piece of wood or an old shelf, for example, taking it would be theft. Even though it is obviously no longer wanted you are stealing if you give into temptation and take it.

There are approximately 27.8 million households in the UK. Assuming every household has a minimum of 2 wheelie bins, we are looking at a total of over 55 million wheelie bins countrywide. That’s without including the millions of wheelie bins used by businesses.

So, although it’s not a very exciting product it looks as if the humble wheelie bin is here to stay, after all, what would we do without it?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top