Ask LH: How Can I Stop My Bins Blowing Over?

Ask LH: How Can I Stop My Bins Blowing Over?
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Dear Lifehacker, My partner and I have just bought our first house and it is at the top of a hill. It’s constantly windy outside which makes bin night quite a challenge. How can I stop the bins from blowing over on bin night without weighing them down so much that we get in trouble for excess garbage? Thanks, Garbage In Garbage Out

[credit provider=”Gene Hunt, Flickr” url=””]

Dear GIGO,

As far as I’m aware, there are no weight restrictions in place for wheelie bins, provided it isn’t overflowing with rubbish or packed so tight it won’t empty. The obvious solution is to wait until the bin is sufficiently filled, which might mean putting it out on a fortnightly basis. (As an added bonus, this also translates to less trips up and down the hill.)

The obvious downside to this solution is the two-week smell factor. If you want to avoid wearing a peg on your nose, you’re going to need to ward against odors — try sprinkling some sesame oil or kitty litter inside your bin when it starts to stink. This will help to mask all but the foulest stench.

You could also try compacting your rubbish using the two bucket trick. This involves tossing some garbage into a large bucket, placing an identical bucket on top and sitting down on it to compress the contents. You’ll be able to fit a lot more garbage into your wheelie bin this way, which will make it heavier and sturdier on windy nights.

As a final tip, when collecting your bins from the bottom of the hill, try inserting your recycling bin inside the general waste bin (most recycling bins are narrower and shorter). This will save you from having to make two separate trips!

If any of our readers have additional suggestions, let GIGO know in the comment section below.

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  • Slipstream the prevailing wind facing side with some corflute or some other lightweight but strong plastic ? (not possible if the wind blows from the street side)

  • There is a weight factor in my area (Lake Macquarie). We were advised that our bin wasn’t emptied once as it was too heavy. We complained and they came back and emptied it.

    I has been a lot heavier than it was on that occasion and it was emptied so I am not sure why the concern that time.

  • Our council has a policy that any bins weighing greater than 80Kgs will not be emptied, so best bet is to contact yours.

    We also live on a hill so I angle them away from the prevailing winds and use a concrete block on the ‘downward’ side of the hill. Seems to do the trick as my neighbours bin falls over!

    Good luck GIGO! 🙂

  • “Most recycling bins are narrower and shorter” – this is DEFINITELY not the case in the majority of the council areas in Adelaide. Most councils are on a 3-bin system, with a smaller wheely bin for general waste (red/blue lid), with larger bins for Recycling (yellow lid) and Green (green lid) waste.

    It /might/ be possible to put the general waste bin inside the recycling bin, but I’m not sure it’d fit all that well.

  • GIGO, I suggest placement of a small ramp with a flattened top (see below) on the downhill side of the bin so that it goes upright where you leave it.

  • As others have said, a lot of councils have weight restrictions on bins.

    I am not sure how their trucks couldn’t lift a bin at my friends house, I was able to lift it by the handle to a point about 2 foot off the ground, if I can do that, surely a metal, hydraulic arm can do better.

  • Simple.
    But a piece of aluminium about 1800 X 20 X 4 mm.
    Cut it into three 600 mm lengths.
    Drill a 10 mm hole in the end of all three.
    place washers between each one and then bolt the whole thing through the middle of the base of the bin.
    Tighten enough but leave some give so each piece can spin independantly.
    When bin is on the road, spin one to the left one to the right and one behind. Yes it won’t stop it from blowing forward, but putting an arm here would probably prevent proper emptying procedure stuff.

  • If you’ve got neighbours with kids still in nappies as them to put a few of their bags on nappies in there, they’ll weigh it down for you, and the neighbours will be happy to get back dome bin space, nappies take up heaps of space when you’ve got a couple of kids still in them.

  • Hi everyone, can I draw your attention to a new product we are developing which allows your bin to be secured when placed out for collection. So if the bin falls over it will not open, this way the truck will still be able to pick it up and you don’t find yourself cleaning up your rubbish and having to call council to come back to collect it.

  • 80kg weight limit sounds about right. As a guide I know if I can’t lift it it’s too heavy for the truck. To avoid bins blowing over simply place a brick toward the edge of the lid and a sandbag on the right wheel so the driver can see it.

    I do this all the time and it works a treat. The driver simply tips the bin slightly to remove the bag and brick then empties it as usual.

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