You would think that a blog on the history of bins would not exactly be the most interesting blog article and you’d be right but it is a story worth telling.

When I was very young the extent of recycling in the village I grew up was a bottle bank around the back of the pub and an annual paper drive with the cub scouts where a cage would be dropped in a car park and people would bring all their old paper to raised funds for the scout troop.

Fast forward a few years and wheeled bins were introduced often with a much greater capacity than the previous old style metal bins. This was done in part to avoid injuries for the binmen but the result was a significant increase in waste production. Just as if you build more roads you get more cars, so the same is true for expanding the capacity of bins. This in part due to garden waste which had been taken by households to local ‘tips’ now being placed in the wheelie bins.

Following that increased regulation from the EU led to a drive to recycle and the number of containers expanded, some places having as many as 6 different containers for the different waste streams.

Now in 2016 as the waste coordinator of the university I toured our halls of residents and spotted a quick win in terms of trying to reach our goal of 50% recycling by 2020. I noticed that each kitchen had only 50 litres of recycling capacity and proceeded to apply to see if expanding the capacity of the recycling bins would have the same effect as the introduction of wheeled bins for waste. The new recycling bins have double the capacity and we will soon see the results.

Feel free to contact me at waste@westminster.ac.uk for a range of bin based anecdotes.

Andrew Sherwood

Andrew Sherwood

Waste Coordinator at The University of Westminster
Andrew coordinates all the waste although would prefer to be known as a ‘resources’ coordinator.

He has a degree in Environmental Management and Geography and completed an MSc in Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy.

a.sherwood@westminster.ac.uk
Andrew Sherwood

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