Waste container

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Wastebin redirects here. For temporary deletion of a computer file see Trash (computing).
Litter bin redirects here. For a place for pet animals to 'go to the toilet' in, see litter box.

A waste container is a container for temporarily storing waste, and is usually made out of metal or plastic. Common terms are dustbin, rubbish bin, litter bin, garbage can, trash can, trash bin, dumpster, waste basket, waste paper basket, waste receptacle, container bin, bin and kitchen bin. The words "rubbish", "basket" and "bin" are more common in British English usage; "trash" and "can" are more common in American English usage. "Garbage" may refer to food waste specifically (when distinguished from "trash") or to municipal solid waste in general.

Curbside dustbins[edit]

The curbside dustbins usually consist of three types: trash cans (receptacles made of metal or plastic), Dumpsters (large receptacles similar to skips) and wheelie bins (light, usually plastic bins that are mobile). All of these are emptied by collectors, who will load the contents into a garbage truck and drive it to a landfill, incinerator or consuming crush facility to be disposed of. The standard size of a UK wheelie bin for household collection is 240 litres.[citation needed]

In some areas there is also a recycling service, often with one or more dedicated bins intended to receive items that can be recycled into new products. These bins are sometimes separated into different categories (usually represented by colors) which determine what materials can be inserted into the bin. The contents of the bins are taken to a recycling plant to be processed, and there are various systems for recycling bin collection: single bin combined stream systems, multiple bin systems, and cyclic collections with different materials collected on different days.

Bins in public areas[edit]

Certain public areas such as parks have litter bins which are placed alongside paths frequently walked by visitors. This encourages people to avoid littering, which creates an unhealthy and aesthetically unpleasant social environment. Public trash bins may be accompanied by recycling bins or "bottle bins" to be used for recycling glass and plastic. Some public bins, especially in "green" restaurants, accept organic waste to be composted.

Bins in outdoor locations or other busy public areas are usually mounted to the ground or wall. This discourages theft, and also reduces vandalism by making it harder for someone to physically move or maneuver the bins; to spill their contents on the ground for example, or to use the bin as an effective weapon to hit people over the back with.

In the past terrorists have left improvised explosive devices in bins. The bomb is much less likely to be spotted than an unattended bag and the metal bins provide extra shrapnel that injures people nearby when it detonates. For this reason there are no bins in most railway stations, most airports, and many shopping centres in the United Kingdom, or if they are provided they are just a bin bag hanging from a metal loop.[citation needed] The Bay Area Rapid Transit system in northern California also removed trash cans to prevent bombs from being hidden in them.[1]

A Danish design company called Peoples ApS, have in cooperation with Swedish based Dynasafe AB, developed a "bombproof" bin suitable for public places. The bins were successfully tested at Saab Bofors test center, an independent third party, using the maximum amount of explosives[which?] specified for the particular design.[citation needed] Shortly after the 2004 Madrid train bombings, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority used about $500,000 in grant money from the federal United States government to purchase $2,000 bomb-proof trash cans manufactured by the Mistral Group, meant to direct the explosion upward. MBTA testing found the cans failed to contain an explosion using only 20% of the amount of explosive used in Madrid, depending on placement.[2]

Apartment buildings often have two dust flumes in which residents can dispose of their trash in stainless steel trash cans.[3] These chutes usually lead to some large receptacle or trash complex in the basement.

Metaphors[edit]

The term "garbage can" is also used for a model of decision making, the Garbage Can Model of decision making. It is concerned with cases of decision making in great aggregate uncertainty which can cause decisions to arise that from a distant point of view might seem irrational.

A "Trash can" metaphor is sometimes used for a place on computers which stores a collection of deleted files. Called "Trash" on an Apple Macintosh, BeOS, and other systems. Called the "Recycle Bin" on Microsoft Windows. Formerly known as "Trash" and "Wastebasket" on GNOME desktop environments, it is now simply called "Deleted Items"—the "trash can" icon remains intact, though.

In a workplace setting, a bin may be euphemistically called "the circular file". Whereas useful documents are filed in a filing cabinet, which is rectangular, junk mail and other worthless items are "filed" in the bin, which is often round.

Artistic aspects[edit]

When bins are in the shape of a living creature, the mouth is often used as the opening.

If no bin is provided, the weekly ritual of bin bags being ripped open by cats, foxes and rats continues and the streets, even in some affluent areas, can become filthy.


On the internationally distributed children's television series Sesame Street, the character Oscar the Grouch lives in a trash can, and his most famous song is called "I Love Trash."

Gallery[edit]

Large containers[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]