Good riddance to unwanted rubbish…

Good riddance to unwanted rubbish…


Article by Karl Deeter, Irish Mortgage Brokers

It can be hugely frustrating when someone dumps their rubbish in your bin

Somebody has been filling my bins with their rubbish. This happens regularly in Dublin and I’m told that it isn’t uncommon in Galway and Cork as well. Different places have different ways that other people can take advantage of your property. For instance, I have yet to hear of a home heating oil theft in Dublin, but it happens all over rural Ireland.

And what’s worse? All of the bins were filled, but the green bin wasn’t filled with recyclable material, it was filled with nappies and things that made me start to gag when the smell wafted out.

The hard thing with bins is that you’ll almost never catch somebody in the act, and at the same time, there is little you can do to deter a person without catching them. Which is why I decided to make an improvised locking system for wheelie bins.

There is a company in the UK called ‘Binlock’ who have a decent product (if it actually fitted the bins we have here), but because their locks are just a little too small to work on many bins I opted to craft a way of locking a bin myself (cheaply) and I’ll show you how today.

This will make three locks (one for each of the black, brown, and green bins)

The things you will need are:

  1. one metre of 4mm chain
  2. Locktite Thread lock (a glue for locking nuts onto bolts)
  3. 40mm M6 bolts and nuts (two for each bin)
  4. 40mm washers (two for each bin)
  5. Common keyed locks – you get these in any decent locksmiths
  6. A 20mm drill bit for wood (although we’ll be drilling plastic)

The first thing you’ll need to do is get the metre of chain cut into three pieces, they’ll normally do this for you at the hardware shop.

Then you need to drill two holes in the bin, one as close under the lip of the main bin as you can (towards the centre – see the first picture) the other in the lid and make it close to the edge but make sure the chain can come through easily, you can see the position in later pictures, for now you don’t have to have it ready, I just do them both at the same time while using the drill.

The next step is to secure the chain to the bin, to do this you use the bolts and washers, don’t skip this step, although you could always have a chain that you simply take right off, there are two hazards which I learned the hard way and will spare you from.

First is that if it isn’t secured in place you can drop it in the bin and the chain always manages to go right to the bottom of a full bin which is inevitably filled with manky contents that you don’t want to reach into.Secondly, setting up your chain in this manner means it is not going to be moveable from the bin (unless cut right off), but it won’t interfere will collection or use, and it also stops people from being able to move the chain to get the lock towards the top where a blow or two with a hammer would take the lock right off.

On the inside I use a two washers, a bolt and a nut and you put them through a link in the chain as you see below.

This now means you can’t pull the chain through but the chain could still sip into the bin because the other side isn’t secured, so that’s the next thing to do, on the opposite side of that bin wall you need to repeat this step.

On this side I didn’t use two washers (I ran out and the head of the bolt is big enough that it should hold but ideally you’ll want to use two washers.

Next you need to open your locktite thread glue. This is a blue fluid that you put on a bolt and twist a nut over it. When it dries it makes it near impossible to remove. So loosen your nuts on each side just a little (that sentence reads kind of weird on it’s own) and put the thread glue on then tighten them up again. Now that chain will be going nowhere unless it is sawed off.  You can see what I mean in the picture below.

In this shot the glue is both in the threaded area under the nut and also down the shaft of the bolt a little too which makes it impossible to move.

Now you just drill a hole in the top of the bin and you are just about finished! You can see how the locking system works, it ensures that people can’t lift the lid on your bin, and rather than try to open it, opportunists who dump their rubbish in other peoples bins tend to go to the next bin (which won’t be yours!).

The other thing to remember is to get common keyed locks so that one key works on all of them, this is just handy, nothing worse than faffing with keys in the rain trying to unlock a bin, it also means if you lose a key you have replacements. A common keyed lock will cost a few euro more than a regular one but it’s worth it in the long run.

Last of all is to make sure you leave your bins unlocked on collection day, in my case I just leave the lock on there so that the chain stays out of the way but where the lid can open (last picture)

The only thing you have to watch out for now is the amount of time between your bin being emptied and re-locking it, that is the only window of opportunity anybody will have to fill your bin for you.

I know some of you may be laughing at the idea of locking your bin, but if you live in a densely populated area where you have to keep bins outside you’ll know the frustration of this and how annoying it is to pay to dispose of other peoples rubbish!

There are 11 comments for this article
  1. Patrick at 8:28 am

    Karl I like the idea of a bin lock, that said My problem is with skip hire I wonder is there a way of preventing other people putting their stuff in your hire skip. It is a constant issue in our area with construction going on.

  2. Jade at 7:06 pm

    Hi guys, I hope you don’t mind me making you aware of another product designed to keep your wheelie bin lids secure- check out at just €9.99 this option is a high quality and low cost Irish designed option.

  3. Maria Kane at 4:13 pm

    I found my black bin open at the lid 6 weeks ago. I knew when I had left it out that I’d made sure the lid was fully down on it so was suspicious when I found the lid open. I pulled out a small stylish paper bag with a variety of small items in it, including two newspapers, plastic bottles, carton, and the incriminating evidence that I needed in the shape of a card written by the woman’s daughter to the woman who obviously left it in. I recognized the two names. These are not the people that I could go over to and reason with but I got all the stuff that was in the paper bag and stuck them into my front windows and had them there over a period of days so they knew who they were and they kept out of my way and didn’t give me any eye contact when near me. I got a certain amount of satisfaction out of the fact that I found out very quickly who the culprit was. I wait till it gets a bit brighter now before I put my black and green bins out. It’s a disgustingly sneaky habit (this) especially when we all have to pay for the removal of our rubbish now.

  4. Louise at 9:07 pm

    I have been literally PLAGUED by people doing this to mine. I actually even know the culprit but Ive yet to catch them in the act

    However this individual has also devised a little system of waiting until all the Bins are out and most people have gone to work and “Kindly” tops up the less empty bins

  5. Patrick at 3:50 pm

    There are gravity locks that open automatically once the bin is tipped over by the bin lorry.

    While a more expensive option than what you outlined – at least you don’t have to worry about having the bin unlocked. Plus in my situation the most likely time to get rubbish added to my bin is when it is left out on collection day. Greyhound are hopeless at collecting at a regular time slot – therefore you have to leave the bin out from 8am in the morning and it might not get collected till the evening.

  6. Daniel Connolly – at 3:15 pm

    hi folks , this is one solution but still requires the bin to be manually opened before the bin men can empty it. i sell a german made “gravity lock” that locks your bin and will open automatically when the bin is on the refuse truck lift. so there is no need to open it before hand. this saves time. it can be opened by key / or combination lock

  7. Nick at 1:53 pm

    A bigger problem is the number of bins. My estate is high-density with lots of apartments and duplexes and every one now has three bins (black, brown and green). When the estate was built it was only designed for one bin per dwelling so they are lined up all along the roads and footpaths. Apartment dwellers dont tend to fill three bins every week so why can’t the waste companies provide small bins or multi-compartment bins?

  8. Orflaith at 1:46 pm

    We are having a huge problem on the South Circular Road with the illegal dumping of rubbish. The council’s response to this is to remove bins from the street. Between this, aving to pay for Greyhound recycling and the joyful habit of setting fire to peoples bins that some local kids find so amusing, I can only see the situation as getting worse.

  9. marianne at 11:26 am

    Waste charges have made this, and general dumping on the streets, very common in my area (North Dublin city).

    When we were renovating our house we had everything from soiled nappies to recyclables (why?! Greyhound were still taking these for free!) to mattresses dumped in our skips. What really annoys me is that people are obviously still coming looking for these skips down the side of our house now, months on, and in the absence of skips are just leaving piles of rubbish on the footpath outside! I’m sick to my back teeth of cleaning up after these scumbags and have yet to catch them in the act. Many of the streets between my house and the city-centre are increasingly strewn with dumped rubbish and I can only see the problem getting worse with the increase in the price of bin tags and Greyhound now charging for recycling bags.
    Thanks for the opportunity to rant 😉

  10. Brendan at 11:03 am

    I prefer the rifle out the window approach.

  11. Richie at 10:56 am

    Good tip Karl. Thankfully I can keep my bins at the side of the house and in off the street so this isn’t an issue for me. However I do know what it feels like to be taken advantage of in this way as when we were doing up the house prior to moving in the shed was initially unlocked (as it was empty) and some opportunist deposited some bulky appliance packing waste in it. Needless to say I bought some chain and locks that very day.

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