I need….

A bin house.


To house all my refuse and recycling bins. Over the years these have grown in number and sometimes in size.

When I came to live in Northern Ireland almost thirty seven years ago. we had a large tub shaped refuse bin made from a very strong moulded rubber/polyurethane? material. It had a lid that you twisted to lock it in place.

Wednesday was our ‘bin day’ and a bin man arrived a couple of minutes before the lorry, to lift the bin out from the side of the house and carry it to the kerbside ready for emptying. When empty the bin was placed back at the side of the house.

In the early to mid 1980s our local council provided us with a large grey wheelie bin for our household rubbish. With that change, we had to wheel out our own bin to the kerbside. Not a problem for us, but say you lived on a farm with a two mile lane to the roadway, you still had to wheel the bin all the way to the road, come hail, rain, potholes or blizzard, if you wanted it emptied.

The wheelie bins had many advantages.

  1. You could wheel them rather than lift and carry.
  2. They had a hinged lid that was heavy enough to stay in place and keep the rubbish inside even on a wet and windy day.
  3. The bin was high enough to prevent neighbourhood dogs from trying to get at the contents and pulling rubbish all along the street.

Next came a smaller version in blue. This was our first official attempt at recycling and it was for newspapers and magazines. No envelopes.

I had already been recycling paper and glass for some years myself. Kerbside collection made this much easier.

A few years later we were provided with another large wheelie bin, this time in brown for our garden grass & hedge cuttings or the cut up pruned branches of trees. We did have the option of buying a compost bin to compost our own garden waste.

The side of our house was becoming very colourful. 😉

The next change was to take away our blue paper bin and replace it with two boxes, one red and one black with lids that clicked into place. These were our new recycling boxes for a limited group of recyclable items such as glass  bottles and jars, paper and some plastics. They also took some cardboard but it needed to be no larger than the size of the box. My faithful old Stanley knife has come in handy over the years! You needed a brick to stop the lids blowing off or the boxes from blowing down the hill.

Boxes were emptied once a week, on a Wednesday and the wheelie bins  moved to Friday, every second week.

Next came a kitchen caddie with corn starch kitchen caddy bags to line it. The caddie was for vegetable and fruit peelings at first, but later we were encouraged to add any waste food eg, plate scrapings and bones. Now it includes both cooked and uncooked food waste. These go into the brown (garden waste) bin. We were provided with a large red tag to attach to the handle of the brown bin when we need the caddie liners and a new bundle is left with our empty bin.

Now thanks to another EU ruling to reduce our general waste, the wheelie bin is being replaced with a smaller size model, so I expect it to arrive any of these days.

There is a push for more recycling so a new three tier wheelie arrived last Thursday in the pouring rain. It stands over four feet high and bulky enough to remain outdoors.

New recycling bin

New recycling bin

This leaflet came with it explaining what goes where.

Already I see a problems.

The previous boxes sat into each other for storing and I kept them dry in the garage from week to week only filling them every other Tuesday evening.

The boxes on this new contraption do not fit inside each other for storing. The top box has a lockable lid but the other two boxes do not and there is a gap all the way round so the rain can get in. Cardboard goes in the bottom box, and means it could be quite soggy by the time it is collected.

We are allowed to hold on to the old red & black boxes to use for overflow or excess of a particular item e.g: bottles or drinks cans…. after a party.

I have not put my Kerbie boxes out since the third week of January. Last night I sorted out all the items I had collected over that time and placed them in the new 3 tier stack, it was less than half full. I can see my neighbour across the road making use of any spare space in my boxes in the future.

Speaking to my local Councillor this morning, he reminds me that the Council are paid for all the recycled items by weight, and hopefully it should help to lower the rates bill for all householders!

They do not take gift-wrap, posters, or greeting cards with glitter on. Something to think about when making a purchase.

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18 thoughts on “I need….

  1. Alan G

    We just have the single bin with wheels here in Little Rock, Arkansas. We are asked to just put all types of recyclables together and the waste center where they are taken has facilities that separate the various materials. They come by once every two weeks to empty the bins but since I live alone it sometimes takes me anywhere from six to eight weeks or so to actually fill one up finally making it worth a trip to the curb.

    And yes, they do like to make those bins colorful don’t they? Ours are bright green with a bright yellow lid – ugh! 🙂

    1. Grannymar Post author

      All our sorting is done at the kerbside, the vehicle has different areas or pockets for all the items.

  2. wisewebwoman

    I keep waiting for the day when we have to help the rubbish collectors and possibly take our turns with the truck 🙂
    And yes, I had tried the google connect button, GM but it just goes into interminable “connecting to Google+” mode and never comes out. Blast and drat.

    1. Grannymar Post author

      WWW, the truck that arrives looks like a toddlers game for learning shapes and is very colourful. I so want to go play with it too. I am not so sure about the new triple deck box. It is clumsy to take apart and the guys have to do that at the kerbside and then re assemble when empty. Ok. day one they were slow, but with time and bad weather, I am sure they will not be so careful.

  3. Mary Byrne Orr

    Recycling totally scunders me. It is not that I’m against it for I recycled for years before the council started to do it. I hate it that we are supposed to do it yet when I have friends from Antrim staying with me I am aghast when they dump everything in the bin. I never give anything organic to the council for that goes to the hens and our own compost heaps.

    1. Grannymar Post author

      Mary, what gets me are all the bins we need to recycle everything. I have not had a full bin for many years, yet I have more bins than we had for a family of eight when I was growing up. Have you got these fancy boxes yet?

  4. Celia

    I shared my bins with the family next door and my son, on my own I only filled them once every three weeks if that. In exchange they hauled the bins to the curb for me. In my new place a condo, they have several large bins and the city comes and gets them where they stand. Every year what can or can’t be recycled is changed and the number of bins grows along with the price. But that’s the way of it. Better than no recycling.

    1. Grannymar Post author

      Like you, I am on my own, so once a month would be more than enough at this time of year, although I do set them out to be emptied more often in the summer months.

  5. bitchontheblog

    This post made me laugh, Grannymar. Not for the first time.

    You might not particularly like me but you and I have so much in common. Not least waste.

    I am an avid recycler. But I have given up. Where once upon a time every bit of potato peel went into my composting bin (complete with worms) and everything else I took to wherever the council saw fit I am now defeated. I currently live in the middle of town and appear to be in charge of all the bins for what is a tiny block of flats. Except no one takes any blind notice. I accept that some people can’t read the bleeding obvious. So you try and explain it to them via their ears. Same difference. Everything ends up in the wrong bin. So the council refuses to empty them. So I am on the phone to the Council, using my vast charm to persuade them otherwise. They have had it with this block of flats. Taken all recycling bins away. Just chuck it all in – regardless. Bit soul destroying. Still. Wasn’t it somewhere in the bible where they say “Devil may care”? Though I think they were referring to that big flood. Noah comes to mind. I truly hate it when people don’t take responsibility for the fallout (rubbish and banana skins) of their lives.


    1. Grannymar Post author

      I will continue to recycle and re-purpose items I do not need. Having so much collected at the kerbside makes it so easy. We do have a centre a couple of miles from here where we can take cookers, fridges, freezers, washers and any manner of what we called white goods, The take computers, small electrical appliances, clothing and used oil for deep fat fryers as well as cars. For all this there is no extra charge, it comes under our rates.

  6. SchmidleysScribbling

    We have the black bin for trash and the blue bin for recyclable paper, glass and plastic. New processes are designed to separate paper from plastic from glass,so we don’t have to separate them any more. We have four compost bins and five rain barrels to handle much else.

    1. Grannymar Post author

      Elly works that way in Dublin – Two bins, one for general rubbish and one for recyclables. In Dublin they pay a fee for each time a bin is emptied! Ours are covered by Household rates.

      1. ellybabes

        Depends on the area of Dublin. My estate is different in that we pay an annual fee as part of our Management fees. Our regular rubbish goes every other Thurs, with recycling on the opp Thurs. Cost doesn’t change for me if I leave a bin out or not. Like you I will leave them out every collection day in summer, so that the contents don’t stink.

        1. Grannymar Post author

          Elly, I forgot you paid an annual fee. Where my sister lives, they purchase bin tags that are scanned when a bin is emptied.


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