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Have you ever thought about what your wheelie bin has to cope with? There’s a good reason why they are solidly built so they last a long time. When you think about it they are outside in all weathers – wind, rain, snow and anything else the great British weather decides to throw in for good measure. They are also designed to hold the stuff we want to get rid of, so they have to be robust and ready for pretty much anything and everything.
It makes sense then that we should do everything we can to look after our wheelie bins, even though they’re not the first thing on our minds most days! After all we have all had that unpleasant experience where we throw open the lid of the bin to put something in it when it is empty and got a whiff of something nasty coming back up at us.
Here are some suggestions for keeping your bins looking their best.
Keeping them out of sight
Let’s face it, our gardens and driveways were not made for rows of wheelie bins to sit outside. Even when they are neatly lined up they can make the place look a little untidy. If you cannot keep them out of sight there is a good solution – buy a wheelie bin storage unit to put them in.
These are generally made from wood (although you can also get tough plastic ones) and usually come in several sizes. You can buy one to hide a single wheelie bin or buy a double or triple storage unit for more. Some have a lift top action so you can easily open the storage unit to open the right bin when you have something to throw away. However they also have doors opening at the front. This means that when bin collection day arrives you simply have to open the door, take out the bins and wheel them to their usual spot for collection. Job done – and in the meantime your wooden storage unit will blend in with your property and garden and not look out of place.
Keeping the outsides as clean as the insides
If you do have a bin store you’ll notice your wheelie bins will look better maintained all the time. They won’t be subjected to the weather and they will stay cleaner.
However if your bin is standing out in the elements you will find it gets dirtier all the time. If it rains you will usually get mud and dirt splashed up against it. It’s a good idea to clean the exterior of your bin weekly if you can. The best time to do this is just after it has been emptied. We’ve mentioned before about the importance of cleaning the inside of the bin regularly to keep it hygienic and as clean as possible – it’s the perfect time to do the outside of the bin too.
For more detailed help on how to keep your wheelie bin clean have a look at Tips for Keeping your Wheelie Bin Clean and Cleanliness is Key
Don’t overload it
Let’s face it – wheelie bins are built to last. They have an important job to do so it makes sense to ensure they are made from tough plastic that will stand the test of time.
However each bin is made to cater for a particular amount of rubbish. The size of the bin is how it is sold – the 140 litre wheelie bin for example, or the 240 litre wheelie bin – and this is also the amount of rubbish it can take.
The problem comes when you try to fit more than that inside the bin. It can be tempting to try and push the lid down to shut it more fully, and yet you can damage the hinges by doing this. If you find your bin is constantly overflowing by the time bin collection day rolls around, consider what you are throwing away. Try to recycle as much as you can – even little bits add up over the course of a week or two. Look at what you can do with food scraps if you are throwing those in your main bin. Re-use as much as you can and separate out all the recyclables so your non-recyclable rubbish is lessened.
The other perk of being able to keep your bin lid shut is that it won’t encourage flies, and that means less chance of maggots forming in your bin. That’s not an experience you will ever enjoy!
Keep an eye on those wheels
Every wheelie bin up to 240 litres in size will have two wheels positioned at the back of the bin, below where the handles are for pulling it into position. The wheels on these bins are rugged and built to last just as the bins are, but it does make sense to keep an eye on them to make sure they do not become damaged.
This would normally only happen if the bin is very roughly handled on a regular basis. However it is a good idea to check them because if one of them does come loose it will happen while you are wheeling it to or from the roadside. If your bin happens to be full at the time it could end up spilling the contents over your property or the pavement. A quick visual check of the wheels each week is all that is required to make sure they are working just fine. If you get a squeak just use some WD40 on the mechanism to stop it.
How do you take care of your bin?
As you can see there are some ways you can look after your bin without it taking too much time to do so. Once you get into a routine you’ll find it takes just a few minutes a week to keep it looking and performing at its best, which will lead to a long life. You might even notice your wheelie bin looks a lot better than many of the others on your street. Just because it is used to store rubbish doesn’t mean it should be treated in the same way. Makes sense, doesn’t it?