What Makes a Great Outdoor Waste Bin for Schools?

Providing waste bins is a great way of not only improving health and safety on your site, but also making the area more attractive and enjoyable to spend time in. Choosing the right bin for outdoor areas at your school can be tricky, as you also need to bear in mind how your pupils will interact with it – here’s our guide to what to look out for.


On school sites, the aim is to try to encourage pupils to use the bin – not only for the sake of keeping your playground and other areas safe and tidy, but also to instil in them a lifelong habit of disposing of waste appropriately. As a result, many manufacturers and suppliers provide colourful or interestingly shaped bins – designed to make pupils take notice.

You can find bins shaped like penguins, bears, cartoon characters and pencils, for example, or in a range of bright and attractive colours and styles.


As with any outdoor waste bin, your bin should be relatively well enclosed to prevent wind from blowing the contents away and rain from filling it up. It also needs to be of robust build quality.

If you are looking to encourage and promote recycling activities it is often easier to have a bin with separate internal compartments – this way pupils won’t have to go searching for the right bin for their waste.


Whether you are fixing your bin to a post, wall or it is freestanding – it needs to be installed carefully and securely. If it can be knocked over easily, it probably will be, creating a health and safety issue.


Your new bin should be easy to empty, clean and otherwise maintain. You’ll have to empty it every day at a minimum, and making sure that this task is as simple as possible will speed up the process. If you are opting for a brightly coloured bin, make sure that the colouring is hard-wearing, or you will have to spend time and money painting it. Finally, try to choose a bin that can be wiped or washed clean fairly quickly.


When you’re choosing your bin, you need to bear in mind that it will be outside all year round. Make sure that any metal components are galvanised and/or powder coated to prolong the lifespan away, and that any wood is correctly treated for outdoor use. Getting a bin made out of the right materials should ensure that it lasts for many years, and you won’t have to replace it for a long time.

Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge.

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