This bin can save lives

A public litter bin that can withstand explosive devices has been developed in a bid to tackle terrorism, making it an ideal choice for high-risk city areas

A bomb-proof litter bin has been developed by Dutch firm Dijkstra Urban Solutions to help counter terrorism in some of Europe's busiest high-risk public places. The Wastelift litter bin has been engineered in collaboration with TNO Defence, Security and Safety - a strategic partner of the Dutch Ministry of Defence.

In the Wastelift's terrorist-proof design, the main part of the bin is made of an underground tubular structure. Should a bomb be placed in the bin - and explode - the force of the blast is directed downward and damage is minimised. The company is now working on a bomb-proof design for sites that cannot facilitate underground tube construction, such as airports, underground stations and train stations.

Dijkstra says the design was created in response to market demand. In recent years there have been several blasts caused by explosive devices placed in litter bins in a number of European cities. Standard litter bins are usually removed during high-risk situations, such as after terrorist threats or during state visits, but this is an expensive option and bomb-proof bins avoid the need for this expenditure. The Wastelift can be sealed as an extra precaution and is also vandal-proof.

Because Wastelift's capacity is about ten times greater than that of an ordinary bin, operating costs are also lower. The Dutch municipality of Groningen has tested the Wastelift and reports it is satisfied with the results. Groningen has since reduced its litter collection from two to three times a day to once a week in some areas. Street litter caused by bin overflow has also dropped.

Another advantage of Wastelift is that the bin tube is relatively narrow, which means it can be installed without damaging underground cables or pipes.

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