The introduction of the wheelie bin over the traditional noisy metal dustbin or the later easily torn black plastic bag by cats, dogs and foxes was a definite advance. David Stokes explains what it's all about.

To get a really messy neighbourhood all you need is a few hungry foxes, cats, stray dogs or a windy night with refuse awaiting to be collected in the plastic bags, you'll have wall-to-wall rubbish all over the immediate area.

The wheelie bin has put an end to all this. The wheelie bin has also kept refuse collection personnel from direct contact with the refuse and cutting down drastically the injuries to hands and legs by glass, bits of metal, knives, needles etc.

Looking at the bin men in my area, they are by far, some of the fittest people who work on the streets. They do the job at a run - but there is no lifting of bins or throwing of plastic bags- so perhaps back problems have been cut down too?

In this feature we are taking a look at what bins the market has to offer local authorities; we chose six suppliers at random.

Bin looking hard enough?

We are essentially looking at two and four-wheel bins, the ones you see outside every house come bin day and those that lurk in yards of small firms, pubs and areas where a lack of suitable space makes a wheelie bin inappropriate.

One day in the future all wheelie bins will be of the 80-litre size because the bulk household refuse will be reduced. Because more paper, glass, cans, 'green waste' such as garden and kitchen waste - including meat - are being recycled into different bins, this will make the large 240-litre bins obsolete.

There will not be the bulk (it is hoped) because the waste and refuse will be shared out between the different colour bins (or different colour lids) to be collected on a fortnightly rotation. All of these are lifted up and emptied into the dustcart by hydraulic arms. So, who-makes-what?


Century Point, Halifax Road, Cressex Business Park, High Wycombe. Bucks. HP12 3SL. Tel: 01494 511055

By far the most prolific supplier of wheelie bins - even I have one from Tonbridge and Malling BC - it's now in its sixteenth year showing, as yet, no signs of wearing out. The Sulo range is extensive, in both two and four wheeled types. The two-wheeled bins come in sizes, 60, 80, 120, 140, 240 and 340 litres. The four wheeled bins come in the following sizes: 660, 770, and 1100 litres. Both two and four-wheeled bins are made of polymers which are resistant to decay, frost, heat, chemicals and UVradiation.

The axles are of galvanised steel and the wheels have rubber tyres which provide quiet running. They come in six colours, black, green, blue, yellow, brown and red.

* Straight PLC

31 Eastgate Leeds LS2 7LY
Tel: 0113 245 2244.

Straight PLC supplies a range of two and four-wheeled refuse bins available in choice of colours. The two wheeled bins come in 60, 80, 120, 190, 240, and 360-litre capacities. Options are lockable lids, paper and bottle bank aperture.

Four-wheeled bins come in three sizes, 660, 770, and 1100 litres; options available are lockable lids, pedal bin, paper and bottle bank apertures.

Both the two and four wheeled bins are made of recyclable polyethylene to European standard EN 840 and are resistant to UV-radiation, frost, heat and chemicals. All metal parts are made of solid, galvanised steel. All bins are provided with DIN of Afnor comb bars ensuring compatibility with all common tipping systems using comb reception. The four-wheeled bins are provided with wheel brakes.

* Richard Sankey & Sons Ltd.

Bennerly Road, Bulwell, Nottinghamshire. NG6 8PE.
Tel: 0115 973 9334.

Sankey make just two bins, a 140 and a 240-litre type. They come in nine different colours and are made of recyclable polymers. The company make the most popular two sizes of two-wheeled bin.

* Iles Waste Systems

Valley Mills, Valley Road, Bradford. West Yorkshire. BD1 4RU.
Tel: 01274 728837.

Wheelie bins are just a part of the Iles Waste Systems range, they also supply litter bins, 'doggie-doo' boxes, dustbins and even those trolleys you see in hospitals that hold sacks. The company supplies a range of three and two-wheeled bins, 120, 240 and 360-litres, and a range of two four-wheeled bins of 660 and 1100-litres capacity. Iles also supplies cylindrical 'Paladin' four-wheeled bins of 940 litres - and these can be lifted either by the comb lift or squeeze clamp.