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It may sound silly and we don't mean to make life more difficult, but do you look after your wheelie? With vandalism and theft always possible, not to mention Bonfire Night and its opportunistic arsonists on the horizon, it's never too late to reassess your bin situation. Here are some of our top tips to keeping your wheelies in one (unmelted) piece:
-- Try to keep wheelies away from the street, or at least out of reach of passers-by.
-- At the same time, we recommend you don't keep them lined against buildings, fences or other structures. The reason for this is that if they are then set alight or catch fire, they won't be able to spread to your property.
-- Crush and compact your rubbish and recycling as much as possible to create more space.
-- Don't place rubbish next to your bins. Aside from looking unsightly and providing a breeding ground for insects, vermin, bacteria and bad smells, your refuse collectors won't take it anyway.
-- Make sure not to fill your bins beyond their capacity, as many local authorities won't collect them if they're overflowing. If compacting isn't enough, you could ask a neighbour if you can pop a little rubbish/recycling/garden waste in their bins prior to collection.
-- Only place your bins on the street during collection day and take back in as soon as possible after they've been emptied. Many neighbours and even councils complain about bins being left out, which is a waste of everybody's time.
-- Under no circumstances should bins be placed where they obstruct escape routes, including alleyways.
-- Help your neighbour by taking their bin out for them if they've forgotten. You can also ask them to do the same for you if you're going away.
-- Don't place hot items such as ash, embers or lit cigarettes into your bin, as a plastic container filled with combustible materials will only take a few seconds to become a choking blaze.
-- Make sure that the lids are always closed because the smell of discarded items attracts everything from house cats to wild animals in no time at all.
-- Use your wheelies responsibly. You're given different coloured bins for a reason, so make the most of them and do your bit for local waste management, recycling and composting services!