Big wheelie bin, little wheelie bin

Bin night was last night, and out in the suburbs we have three wheelie bins still out on the kerb.

Here we see a small 120 litre bin for the weekly rubbish pickup, a double sized 240 litre bin for the fortnightly recycling rounds, and something new: a triple sized 360 litre bin for people who drink like fish and would otherwise run out of room to dump their empty stubbies.

Wheelie bins: big, bigger and biggest

Meanwhile in the inner city we see a gaggle of half sized 60 litre wheelie bins sitting on the footpath outside a bar. So what are they full of?

Mini-sized wheelie bins

If you tried to push the wheelie bins over then you might get a clue, when you discover these bins are incredibly heavy – the contents are crushed glass.

Instead of having dozens of normal wheel bins filled with empty bottles, today many restaurants and bars have signed up with recycling companies that provide purpose built glass crushing units to install behind the bar. Allowing bar staff to dispose of empty bottles on the spot, the broken glass from the machine gets deposited directly into a mini wheelie bin at the bottom of the unit, reducing the number of times bins needs to be wheeled outside for collection.

Further reading

  • BottleCycler seems to be a leader in the field: they use SULO wheelie bins, and ship the glass the collect to Visy for recycling.
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5 Responses to “Big wheelie bin, little wheelie bin”

  1. Daniel15 says:

    In my area (Pascoe Vale) we have the standard 120 litre bins for both rubbish and recycling, and the recycling is collected weekly.

    I remember years ago, the Brunswick area had little tiny crates for recycling – One for paper and one for plastic/glass.

    • Marcus says:

      Recycling crates were a very 1990s thing – I’m guessing sending garbos around to pick them all up isn’t up to today’s OH&S standards.

      Back in Geelong when I was a kid the collection method was even more labour intensive – newspaper needed to be bundled up with string, and glass and plastic bottles went in a hessian sack!

  2. Andrew S says:

    In Greater Dandenong we skipped the black crates (bottles and cans only) and in the mid 1990s went to a blue 240l bin for recyclables, collected fortnightly; newspaper, cardboard, bottles and cans all in together. In the other week is a fortnightly collection of green wast in a dark red 240l bin which was introduced later. There is a weekly rubbish collection using a green 120l bin. Before this the rubbish was in loose garbage bags and bottles and cans were collected for a brief period in a woven plastic bag supplied by council. Newspaper was as you described in Geelong.

    In neighbouring Kingston the 240l recyclables bin initially had a divider to separate bottles and cans from newspaper and cardboard which was later removed.

    I think the issue with the crates was that they were impractical and were too small given most stuff goes in them these days. Only problem is now removing plastic wrappers bags from the blue bin – all placed by other members of the household!

  3. Andrew says:

    What a great idea is the glass breaker in bars. I had not heard of it.

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