The humble wheelie bin may become a distant memory after a city installed underground bins for residents.
The major project, believed to be the first of its kind, features sleek steel bin chutes set into the pavement that feed into large underground chambers.
A sensor notifies the council when it is full, triggering the dispatch of a specialist collection lorry.
The modern subterranean refuse system has been introduced in north west Cambridge, doing away with the need for around 9,000 wheelie bins.
However, it does come complete with warnings urging people not to climb in, as they could end up hurtling into a seemingly bottomless "deep pit".
The Shared Waste Service for Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Councils has already begun collecting residential waste from the underground bins in Eddington, the University of Cambridge’s new district.
Residents are told what can be recycled and given clearly labelled bins for their kitchens which match the signage on the steel bin chutes outside.
The project means residents will no longer have to lug the heavy bins out onto the street, worry about when to put which bins out or where to store them.
They will also be free of the sight and smell of the unsightly traditional bins - one underground bin replaces around 20 wheelie bins.
The 150-hectare site, when completed, will benefit from 450 recycling and general waste bins in underground banks placed across 155 locations.
The system is the largest of its kind in the country and an integral part of the University of Cambridge’s vision to create a sustainable living space for people and to help them lead more environmentally-friendly lives.
A university spokeswoman said "Underground bins are used extensively across Europe and have been installed in accordance with our own protocols and with the advice of the local authorities."
Cllr Mark Howell, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for environmental health, said: “This is an exciting and welcome step forward in designing in waste management needs at the planning stage for new developments, and using new technologies like fill-monitoring systems to minimise the impact of collections on traffic and emissions.”
Cllr Rosy Moore, executive councillor for environmental services and the city centre, added: “This significant project represents a completely new way of working with partners to collect recyclable materials and waste in an urban environment, so to see it come to fruition with this attractive system operating is very satisfying.”