Going underground! Wheelie bins could soon be a thing of the past

Wheelie bins in Cambridge are about to be replaced…
Wheelie bins in Cambridge are about to be replaced…

The familiar sight of a wheelie bin in a front garden could soon be a thing of the past, after a UK city installed underground bins for residents to use.

The complex system, which has been introduced in north west Cambridgeshire, sees steel bin chutes being set into the pavement before they are then fed into larger underground chambers.

When the chambers are full, a sensor is then set off to alert and trigger a collection lorry.

The system has removed almost 9,000 bins, but it has also come with serious warnings that people could become stuck in a bottomless pit they choose to climb in.

One underground bin is believed to be equivalent to around 20 wheelie bins and the system will see 155 ‘banks’ being dotted around Cambridge upon final completion.

The system forms part of a new drive by Cambridge University to create a sustainable way of life and become as environmentally friendly as possible.

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‘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’, a Cambridge University spokesperson said.

Councillor Mark Howe, 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.’