A waste container is a container for temporarily storing waste, and is usually made out of metal or plastic. Some common terms are dustbin, garbage can, trash can and dumpster. The words "rubbish", "basket" and "bin" are more common in British English usage; "trash" and "can" are more common in American English usage. "Garbage" may refer to food waste specifically (when distinguished from "trash") or to municipal solid waste in general. In 1875, the first personal rubbish bins were introduced in Britain to create a regulated system of trash collection.
In many cities and towns, there is a public waste collection service which regularly collects household waste from the curbside. This will be loaded into a garbage truck and driven to a landfill, incinerator or crush facility to be disposed of. Household curbside waste containers are typically either:
In some areas, each household has multiple bins separated into different categories (usually represented by colours) depending on its suitability for recycling.
Public litter bins
Public areas, such as parks, often have litter bins placed to improve the social environment by encouraging people not to litter. Such bins in outdoor locations or other busy public areas are usually mounted to the ground or wall to discourage theft, and reduce vandalism, and to improve their appearance are sometimes deliberately artistic or cute.
The term "garbage can" is also used for a model of decision making, the Garbage Can Model of decision making. It is concerned with cases of decision making in great aggregate uncertainty which can cause decisions to arise that from a distant point of view might seem irrational.
A "trash can" metaphor is often used in computer operating system desktop environments as a place files can be moved for deletion.
In a workplace setting, a bin may be euphemistically called "the circular file". Whereas useful documents are filed in a filing cabinet, which is rectangular, junk mail and other worthless items are "filed" in the bin, which is often round.
- Developing Garbage Cans: The World’s Unsung Hero
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- Media related to Trash container at Wikimedia Commons