Underground 'Superbins': Why wheelie bins may become thing of the past

The huge communal bins can take up to 5,000 litres of waste, the equivalent of a week’s worth of refuse for 20 homes.

Huge communal ‘smart bins’ could replace wheelie bins in bid to clean up communities across the UK Liverpool City Council

Superbins could soon be coming to a street near you.

The huge communal bins can take up to 5,000 litres of waste, the equivalent to a week’s worth of refuse for 20 homes.

The ‘smart bins’ could be rolled out to areas across the UK after a successful trial in Liverpool.

The city council set out to clean up communities and tackle illegal dumping and vermin problems.

Liverpool City Council superbins.Liverpool City Council

The subterranean superbin scheme, which cost around £1.5m, has been designed to provide a “cleaner waste solution” for 27,000 terraced households in the city.

It will see the “cavernous receptacles” placed in high-density residential areas, replacing some existing communal bins.

Liverpool City Council said it expected the new approach will radically reduce the issue of ripped black bin bags spilling out onto streets and blighting neighbourhoods.

The smart bins, which are made of steel or reinforced plastic to reduce odours, will issue an alarm when full and will be emptied with a crane lift via a release mechanism in its base.

It is estimated the emptying and re-installation process will take less than ten minutes.

Is it happening in Scotland?

Glasgow City Council installed two stand-alone, semi-underground waste systems, in Kelvingrove Park.

The silo-type bins have also been introduced in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh.

An idea to run a pilot scheme of huge bin bunkers to serve flats in Craigshill, Livingston, would cost West Lothian Council more than £1m, according to a council report.

Instead, the council decided it would use £964,000 secured from Zero Waste Scotland for the above ground bin stores it had originally been granted for.

Last year, Edinburgh councillors commissioned a report to investigate the use of the bunkers in neighbourhoods where there are a large number of flats – including in Craigshill.

In October, the city council revealed the number of bins in Edinburgh’s centre could double under plans to increase its waste and cleansing budget by more than £4m in a bid to clean up the capital.

Liverpool City Council believes the superbin scheme will save it a huge amount of time and resources in the years to come by drastically cutting secondary waste-related issues such as rats, flies and smell associated with black bag waste disposal.

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