Beauty and the bin – why appearance matters in waste management

How a bin looks and where it is placed can make all the difference between a well-used, well-looked after facility and an eyesore that attracts antisocial behaviour and even crime.

This was the core message of David Gillett, sales and marketing director of Tayor, a company that provides waste and recycling containers, when he spoke at waste trade show Futuresource this week.

Mr Gillett claimed that rubbish bins and recycling facilities need to go beyond the functional if those they are intended for are to embrace them.

Ease of use, positioning and appearance are everything when it comes to persuading the public to use them as intended.

“The considerations of design need to come in at a much earlier stage, ” he said.

“Things need to look nice if people are going to use them and need to take into account psychological factors.”

He pointed out that it is self evident that a dreary grey bin down a side alley that loomed intimidatingly over those who were supposed to lose it was likely to see less action than a bright, clean bin in an open, visible area that was low enough for people to easily deposit their rubbish or recycling in.

It doesn’t matter if the people using the bins are lawyers or bus drivers, he aid, as across all socio-economic groups people will behave dreadfully if their bins are hidden from the gaze of neighbours, dumping all manner of waste next to them.

“We’re moving away from hiding it behind the building where no-one can see so you can do whatever you like to putting it in the public eye,” he said.

“Then your in the eye of your peers and you tend to behave better and there’s less of a problem with side waste.”

Correct positioning of the right facilities can reduce crime making places nicer and safer to live, he argued, and should be considered part of the design of a community in the same way as paving and street lighting.

Sam Bond

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