A Wheelie Brief History of the Wheelie Bin

At Nationwide Waste Services we love recycling.

By providing customers across the whole of the UK the most competitively priced and responsible waste management service we believe there is, we can't help but live and breathe sustainability and all that it entails. But, even we were stunned to find out that wheelie bins have been around for a lot longer than we thought.

Though historians still argue over the exact beginnings of the use of wheeled bins for waste, excavations amongst the ruins of Pompeii, the city which was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, unearthed the fossilized remnants of a wooden wheelie bin. What this was used for exactly is still unknown, but it is staggering to think that the plastic wheelie bin that is in use everyday by many businesses across the UK and for various waste streams, has an ancestor, of sorts, which can be traced back to such a time in history.

However, as interesting as that is, the accolade for the first functional wheelie bin, and the one in which most modern plastic wheelie bins are descended from, goes to the Slough-based company Frank Rotherham Mouldings, which invented the wheeled bin on March 12, 1968. Though its use was limited to the transportation of waste across the factory floor, the wheeled bin would have possibly gone unnoticed, until an eagle-eyed health and safety inspector realised that the bin could improve efficiencies and reduce the amount of injuries to refuse collectors. 

Though the benfits to such a bin were obvious at the time, it wasn't until the 80s where a new type of refuse collection vehicle emerged, which could automatically pick up and empty the bins, that wheelie bins were able to be introduced as a viable option for waste collection.

The rest, they say, is history.


22/04/2014 15:51:27

by Jonny in General News

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