Wheeled Bins Increasingly Used by Residents

Recycling Helps Prompt Switch

Efforts by municipalities to promote recycling of waste products has led to an increase in the number of large wheeled bins made of plastic to store household waste in place of the generally smaller metal cans that once predominated.  Often households will be provided with more than one can in order to separate different types of waste.  One container may only hold lawn waste such as grass clippings and leaves.  These materials may then be recycled into mulch suitable for use in gardening and agriculture after the mulch is cured by bacteria in compost heaps.  Another bin may hold other recyclable material such as glass, metal, plastic, and paper.  Finally, a third can may hold garbage and other materials that will be trucked directly to a landfill.

Cities and other governmental agencies that run such programs are not simply being ecologically minded.  There is often considerable value in many of the products being tossed, especially in bulk quantities.  The sale of such items can help to subsidize the cost of garbage collection.  By recycling, less material goes into landfills thus prolonging their useful life spans.  This can be an important consideration given the difficulty of finding new sites for disposing of trash that are within a reasonable distance from the collection points.

One problem with these sorts of programs is that the substitution of a single can for such items as lawn clippings where once several cans may have been used for such a purpose means that the cans must necessarily be significantly larger.  Because the cans are so much greater in mass and difficult to maneuver, they have been wheeled so people may tilt and roll them with comparative ease.

Wheeled Bins a Sign of the Times

Wheeled bins mean that it does not take a lot of muscle to move heavy loads of trash.  George Dempster created the Dempster Dumpster in the 30’s that became the standard model for the sort of large containers that garbage trucks fit with fork lifts use.  Such receptacles are too big and cumbersome for household use.  While wheeled bins now seem like an obvious solution to many, they did not come into common use for residential trash pickups until the 70’s.  They sometimes go by the name “Herbie Curbies.”  The design was patented in Germany and licensed for use throughout the world.

Wheeled bins come in a variety of sizes, but are generally designed to hold anywhere from 25 to 95 galloons of material.  The most commonly used type in the United States holds 63 gallons of material.  It will have a hinged lid at the top and two wheels on the bottom on the same side as the hinge.  Behind the hinge will be a bar used to tilt and steer the contraption with.  The bar may also do double duty as a leverage point where a hoisting mechanism on a garbage truck can get a grip on the can and lift it up to empty the contents