Wheely Bin: Mr Waster recently published a blog on what garbage collection Sydney was like not too long ago. We did a bit of research to find out about the quite short history of wheely bins in Australia – and globally and were quite surprised with what we found out.


When we think of a wheelie bin – we are generally referring to a 240 litre wheelie bin – i.e. a bin with two wheels. These are the standard size of large bin used by both commercial and private residences throughout Australia.


Waster offers flexible waste and recycling services to small and medium Australian businesses – on flexible 30 day agreements and great prices, so you do not need to stress about your wheely bins. Check out our rates and services online and of course order online by pressing the button below.


When you book your service with Waster – we provide a bin and maintain it – so you are not required to purchase your own bin.


The weird history of wheely bin usage from Roman times

As in many things – when we think of modern items, the Romans usually had a version or something similar.


Did you know that the Ancient Romans used a primitive form of wheely bin – as with nearly all technical subjects, the Romans were pretty advanced.  Archaeology digs at Pompeii have actually exposed a crude wooden wheelie bin.

Pompeii wheely bin


Invention of the modern wheely bin – England 1968


Many great things happened in the UK during the Swinging 60s from the Beatles, to the World Cup in 1966. Maybe the most exciting was the invention of the wheely bin.


The first bin that we would recognise as a functional modern wheelie bin was invented in March 1968 by the Slough based company Frank Rotherham Mouldings. This simple bin was used primarily to transfer waste across the factory floor. It stayed in this role until a health and safety inspector in the factory had the idea that this bin was much more efficient but could also improve health and safety and reduce strains and spillages.


Hard work of collecting rubbish prior to 1990s


The full benefits of the efficiencies of wheelie bins was not really realised until the 1980s and the rollout of bins to residential users across the world. The idea of moving back to the old days of heavy iron bins is now almost unthinkable.


The benefits of wheelie bins are of course enhanced by using modern hard wearing plastic. Old fashioned rubbish bins were made from metal and of course would be expensive, heavy and likely to rust.



Of course, the bins were also very noisy.


The garbage collectors would certainly have had a workout every day lifting bins to empty them into the truck. In the old days – a garbage truck would move slowly down a street as a team of men ran around emptying bins into it from all directions.





We hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. The thing I find hardest to believe is that no one thought of a wheely bin before this. Sometimes ideas do not appear until the time is right.  See our blog post on bin collection for small business and also how well Australia is doing in our Recycling Centre blog post.


For a look at the potential for incineration in Sydney see our blog on waste collection Sydney. Also see dumpster rental.


To remember how far we have come in recent years – and the back breaking work that being a bin- man – or garbo was in years gone by – check out the video as below.


This video is from 1970s and shows how bin collection was done in those days.


It is hard to believe that people did not invent wheelie bins earlier!


For more info on the history on bin waste collection services – see our article.


I often think how many other aspects of modern life are there – such as bins, which could easily be improved?