How the wheelie bin changed the world
Can you imagine a time when your good old reliable wheelie didn’t even exist? If you’re old enough, you might. We may be biased, but we think wheelie bins have changed the world. Don’t believe us? Here’s some wheelie bin history.
If we delve back into wheelie bin history, there’s some disagreement about the origin of the bin. Though it’s thought that archaeologists found the remnants of a wheelie bin among the ruins of Pompeii. Not a wheelie bin as we know it though, but a simple wooden cart with wheels used for collecting rubbish.
Along Came the Dustbins
Before the 1980s, households and refuse collectors had to contend with clunky metal bins. If you’re old enough, you’ll remember them. The heavy, two-handled bins created a terrible noise during early morning bin collections. Seeing the poor refuse workers hauling them onto their backs and emptying them in the back of the bin lorry. Thankfully, health and safety and concern for the environment has come a long way.
Enter the Plastic Wheelie Bin
Here it is, the most important part of your wheelie bin history lesson. The invention of the wonderful plastic wheelie. The wheelie bin as we know it was invented in 1968 by Frank Rotherham Mouldings, a company based in Slough. A Health and Safety inspector on the premises saw that it could potentially reduce back injuries among refuse workers. The rest, as they say, is history. Once refuse lorries were fitted with bin lifting mechanisms in the late 1980’s, the wheelie was set for world domination.
What’s So Wonderful About Wheelie Bins?
- They allow us to separate our waste for recycling. No longer is it acceptable or viable to dump all our waste in landfill;
- It’s much safer for refuse workers to move them than the old clunky metal bins;
- They are much easier to keep clean;
- You can pimp them. From adding your door number to colourful stickers, you can make your wheelie a work of art.
The Future of Wheelie Bins
Wheelie bin history suggests that the humble wheelie has changed the world (kind of). Not only that, there are new innovations happening all the time. Take smart bins, for example. These clever bins have sensors that tell operatives when they are full and need emptying.
However, there are also some innovations that could mean the end of wheelie bins. A scheme in Cambridge where waste collection happens via stainless steel chutes on the pavement. The chutes feed into big underground chambers. When the chambers are full of rubbish, a sensor notifies the council. A refuse team is then dispatched to lift the container out of the ground and empty it.
So there you have it, wheelie bin history in a nutshell. Waste disposal has come a long way. We might all take our wheelies for granted but we couldn’t live without them. Let’s hope they are gracing our back gardens (or wheelie bin storage units) for many years to come.