Kerbside Bins - Do You Wash Them?

Hi all,

Today we had our weekly bin collection (Melbourne suburb) and noted for the nth time that my neighbour washes the kerbside bins every single time.

I find this to be a total waste of water, especially in Australia where water is scarce.

What's your take on it? Do you wash your bins?

Poll Options expired

  • 178
  • 514
  • 34


  • +89

    If it smells (and sometimes the have liquid remains on the bottom…), Yes (e.g. leakage from a bag, yuck).

    Otherwise, No.

    Only for the general waste, not the other bins.

    • +12

      My green bin stunk. So thought I’d give it a wash and then tip it out into the gutter. For about 4 days, if you walked past it, you would think you were on a farm

      • +1

        mowing picked up some 🐶 💩 ?

        • +9

          Nah, it was just after our council allowed us to put food waste in there. There was a layer, probably 20cm deep, of rotting food

          Had to hi pressure the shit out of it

          At one stage, someone from the council came out and asked me about the drain (someone complained about the smell), he said likely something died (possum/cat) and got stuck in there

          • @supasaiyan: It happens to me in some weeks too, collecting food waste for 2 weeks and it smells like a farm. Now I don't have much in red bin so that I just don't keep that in the curbside in some weeks.

            • +25

              @bazingaa: Mine gets washed by the rain. Same as my car.

              It's not that I'm lazy, I'm saving the environment. 🤥

          • +1

            @supasaiyan: Get a small bin for food waste and freeze it then throw away on bin day. Problem solved.

            • +1

              @Cletus vandamme: freeze it how? put it in the freezer?

              • +2

                @bakemon0: Yeah I chuck all food scraps in a small bin and wrap when full and put in the freezer so it doesn't smell. Then I throw it out on bin day in the morning. No more bin smell after that.

          • @supasaiyan: Why not use the compostable bags they give out for food scraps?

            • +1

              @diddy50: who gives out these compositable bags? Our local park rarely has a dog poo bags (note nappy bags are a cheap alternative to buying specific dog bags). Nothing is free from a council apart from tedium annoyance.

            • @diddy50: Back in UK I used newspaper to wrap. I'm not sure if this is allowed in Australia?

      • Ditto.

    • +5

      Exactly! I thought this was what most people did. If something has leaked out and it smells, you wash it for sure. It's pretty disgusting otherwise.

    • +2

      That is what the rain for

      • +2

        Also the most environmentally friendly option too!!

  • +16

    Depends if they're dirty/smelly?…

  • It could be that, your neighbour has OCD…

  • +75

    If by wash you mean I leave the bin lid open if it's raining on bin day then yes I wash them.

    • +1

      ∆ This, the true bogan way to wash me bins, not to mention wear a bonds vestie, socks n slippers to get them from the curb next morning, even in winter.

      • +10

        wear a bonds vestie

        you mean wife beater

        • +5

          Haha I remember my parents dragging it into the garden for a day so ants could take out all the maggots.

      • +2

        Na true bogans don't wear socks and slipper, socks and thongs mate and if your really swish bermuda shorts

      • By slippers you must mean Adidas slip-ons right?

  • +27

    maybe your neighbour doesn't put the their rubbish in plastic, non bio degradable bags that are worst for the environment than hosing out a dirty bin,

    maybe your neighbour keeps their bin close to a window and doesn't want a smelly bin

    maybe your neighbour has dirty habits

    maybe your neighbour has OCD and likes things clean

    maybe your neighbour knows you are watching and does it to piss you off

    maybe your neighbour plans on keeping it in pristine condition to sell in the future as an antique

    maybe your neighbour really like wasting water

    i bet your neighbour has long showers, and debates whether their hand washing of dishes is much better than dish washers.

    i bet your neighbour runs the sprinklers on his 2 square meter lawn for ages

    i bet your neighbour also waters their cactus's everyday

    • +15

      maybe your neighbour knows you are watching and does it to piss you off

      Lmao PLEASEEEEE let this be the reason.

      • +1

        maybe his neighbour is ultra considerate because he knows if he has a smelly bin, it might blow over to the OP's side of the fence, and stink him out

    • +2

      I bet they have a rainwater tank and pump connected to garden hose.

    • +1

      hey Archi… it's 'Cacti', not 'Cactus's' (also, ' means ownership, not plural). Also, watering Cacti everyday would kill them.

  • -1

    I put my rubbish bags in my neighbour's bins.

  • +1

    If it's gross. Not on any routine.

  • +1

    belongs to the council, get them to wash yours.

  • -1

    Only if its gross. I hate taking out the rubbish, having a smelly one just makes the experience worse.

  • +5

    There’s actually a young school boy in my area who washes your bins for a fiver. He advertises on the local BSS sites on Facebook. Offers a repeat service too. By all account he’s got a decent amount of revenue coming in and I’d certainly pay someone to clean my bins for $5 a month however my bins are strata so not my problem 🤷‍♂️

    So perhaps if you have kids or some in the street offer them some pocket money to give them a wash etc.

    • +2

      Yeah we have a kid who does this too. Every so often I msg him and leave $10 in the letterbox on bin day for him. He does recycling and the general waste bin. Both are gross.

  • +5

    The Council charges me a large amount in my rates every year to supply, maintain, and empty the bins.

    If they did want them washed out they are welcome to do so themselves.

    • +1

      It's not for their sake nor required maintenance, a stinky bin only affects those who are manually putting stuff in there.

  • We pay someone. Got 2 in nappies so the main bin and recycling bin get a pro clean once per month. Well worth it at only around $160 for 12months.

    • +5

      I thought a bear shits in the woods..

  • Washing a bin each week isn't going to use much water. Chill!

  • +2

    Water is not scarce if you live near the eastern seaboard. Has this site turned into ACA or something?

    • +4

      Didn’t Sydney have pretty serious water restrictions a couple of years ago?

      • +2

        Water is only scarce in Australia because we keep increasing our population without taking into account the fact that there is only so much rain that hits our dams every year…Sure there is ebbs and flows with some years better or worse than others but at the end of the day when we double our population of course we will have less water available for everyone unless we increase our catchment areas and dams etc to ensure we double our water…..

        • +1

          But if we manage it properly (by not washin bins weekly), we’d need less storage?

          It’s only scarce because we waste too much.

          • +3

            @Euphemistic: No its scarce because no amount of saving will be enough if we keep increasing population without increasing how we get and store water. Sure there is some waste involved, but people are far better at saving water than they were in the past and at some point there is only so much we can save as well as its a quality of life scenario.

            • @lonewolf: More and bigger dams

              • +1

                @diddy50: Not really that easy, Dams have to be planned decades in advance and also in the right areas to catch enough waterflow as well as then being able to provide from there to the City. Since a lot of the rainfall in australia is basically just on the borders of land and sea and not much inland, it poses a problem when thats all the areas where there is already development and people living there… There is finite resources, so we should also plan for a finite population if we want to have any level of quality of life.

                • -1

                  @lonewolf: still, when the dam was so low in Sydney, why didnt they get machinary in and make it deeper?

                  also the person washing their bins might have a rainwater tank… when that overflows it just goes into the street gutters and out the ocean.

                  • +1

                    @chriskq: Dams dont work like that, it's not at all that easy to just increase the dam size. In a lot of ways it's easier to just create another dam especially for long term planning. But again dams alone don't work without catchment areas and at the end of the day everything relies on how much rainwater actually gets to us and to these areas. And that varies depending on seasons and other factors. So the droughts we have had have been during the periods where there is alot less rain and population increases as dramatic as it has been in the last decade or 2 means water usage has gone up even when each individual person actually uses less as they have learnt better water saving methods.

                    Australia is sadly not a place that gets that much guaranteed rain all year round and every year. Hence why we have such a large dry inland area. Unless we can affect how much rain falls on Australia, this is not going to change much. There is also the political factor of how different industries and different chains along the rivers are taking up ownership of water and using water as collateral/ investments which in turn has caused corruption as now lots of money is involved and that's another area that really needs to be looked at.

  • I think every couple of months the bins are sprayed by jj Richards with some sort of Phenyle based disenfectant.

    We still use bin bags so there is little wasteage. As far as environmental concerns go? Plastic bags are a dreadful thing if they find their way into our waterways and oceans. However, if the plastic is buried along side the rest of our garbage in landfill, I can't see the harm. In fact having some petroleum base product being buried instead of burnt is environmentally a better outcome. The bonus is no manky bin.

  • silly poll.

    When they start to smell

  • Some people use bin liners in them

  • They're gonna have 4 bins soon enough so it'll be interesting to see if they wash all 4. The Garden waste bin now can take food waste so it's fair enough that it might be a bit smelly and gross.

  • To be fair, we mixed the bins once and she washed ours. It does feel good to know the bottom part is clean of debris.

  • +3

    My neighbour used to fill it up with water in summer and let the kids sit in there.

  • +1

    I do mine a couple of times a year, tip some disinfectant in and let it sit for an hour then hose out thoroughly.

  • +1

    I got 2 in nappies, we don't use plastic bags for food waste we just have a box in the kitchen that I tip into the bin when it's full. Surprisingly my bin doesn't smell. Bins only "washed" when it's raining on bin day which is a lot recently.

    • -1

      yuk yr gross

      • -1

        If i am, then my bin would smell :) actually I do put my wet food waste in a formula can so that probably has a lot to do with smell management.

        Also bag poopy nappies in a nappy bag. 100% helps

      • -1

        you're or you are would be more appropriate

        look at your own spelling and grammar before deciding to correct other people.

        • What are you talking about, weirdo?

  • I'll wash it when something has leaked and it stinks

  • Rarely wash our bin because we don't have much garbage. I am no climate activist or anything but we like to garden so most scraps are composted except for meat. Between us and our animals we have very little meat scraps which are frozen till bin day and as he comes early morning most probably still frozen when collected. This is probably not done on purpose but just works out that way.

  • Only twice a year I'll power wash inside and out. Our local council does a wash once or twice a year too.

  • +3

    Nah. Just stick an outboard in it and fill it with water if it gets really bad.

    • what is the outboard you speak of?

      • +1

        Last one was a 15hp Honda 4 stroke. Bin was JUST strong enough to hold it :)

  • +1

    We always wash our bin as it stinks from the waste leaks. As we wash it on the lawn it's not such a waste of water.

  • +1

    Assuming your neighbour is washing their bin with water from their house (which they pay for or have a water tank), it's really none of your business. Worry about stuff that matters!

  • Your neighbour is a monster!

  • only if its dirty, otherwise I wouldnt care too much

  • Where are they draining the water?

  • Used to wash them every week.
    Now use a bin liner for the whole bin, rarely have to wash it. The liner keeps it very clean.

  • +2

    I just take them with me when I am showering

  • Hose them out every month or so

  • Do you all leave the lid open or what?!? I keep the lid closed and it only smells for the two or three seconds I have to open it to drop a bag in.

  • +1

    Reading the comments on this thread, it looks like people just throw waste directly into the bin? Ive always put my rubbish into a bin bag, and then that bin bag goes into the large council bin.

    It would be a frekkin smelly mess if you just threw all your food scraps straight into the council bin

    • Guessing council garbo trucks would need to be washed even more if unbagged trash is scooped up into their trucks daily.

      Next ozbargain thread "My local garbo truck drove by and stunk, who do I complain to?"

    • Exactly that people just throw waste with no wrapping

  • +1

    Hi OP, where do you live? I have some nappies to drop off in your bin.

  • Fact: garbage stinks and so do garbage bins

  • I wash the general waste bin if there's liquid (from leakage), especially during summer months, it really sinks if left unwashed.

    Garden bin sometimes, less frequent. Recycle bin rarely.

  • I don' wash it OR use garbage bags (including bins inside).

    Garbage bags are like gift wrapping your rubbish - crazy and completely unnecessary (extra environmental vandalism imo).

  • During the drought we were filling our red & yellow bins with grey water from the washing machine.
    I put the bins under laundry window and siphoned the water onto our front lawn.

    bins were very clean after several washes & grass didn't die

  • Never wash the green nor the yellow bin but the red a few times especially when I see maggots around.

  • you could argue having a shower is a waste of water too

    what one person uses water for is their business. you would end up in the bin if you go ask them to stop

  • I sad no in the poll, but probably about once every year or two. It's usually just a quick squirt, rather than a full clean.

  • -1

    If you can stop my neighbours from dumping crap into our bins when its on the kerb overnight then i will stop washing them.

    They do not ask, and there are plenty of renters and students who don't give a damn to use someone else's garbage bin space.

    • -1

      Why would it matter if it is on bin night?
      I do this and am not a renter or a student - Without asking, I will throw some rubbish in a neighbors bin just before pickup, if mine is full. And I would hope that a neighbor of mine would do the same situation reversed and I had spare space. As far as I am concerned, it is fair game if the bins are on the kerbside.

      Did you mean they are doing it days before pickup? Or are you actually upset the unused space in your bin is being used?

      • +1

        Of course it matters. Because what happens things are not tidy and wrapped up. Carelessly thrown in with sauce, liquids, misc items eg. Sharp items that would even damage your bin. Yup that happened to me. In summer all the liquids get dried up at the bottom attract flies it's not pleasant.

        Who is to clean up at the end of the day? If you use my bin you should clean up too? Does that sound fair??

        It's not a fair game if I was to dump open bottles and unwrapped uber eats takeaway boxes into someone else's and cause a mess then expect your neighbours to deal with it?

        • -1

          @neonlight ..,omg you cant be serious !!!

          • @bankstownbrats: Yeah we have a house on our street which rents out to overseas students, the owner also lives there. They often order takeaways even before pandemic they do this. I complained to the owner, he didn't do anything as it's their tenants and owner didn't wanna upset them. It doesn't happen all the time now but it does happen occasionally. Since border closed it has improved. They have absolutely no consideration. It's not case of me being fussy. Imagine you are in my shoes. Whoever downvote me grow up mate!

    • At first i was going to neg you, but after your reply, i agree with you. I guess your only solution would be to put the bins out right before they get taken. Mine go around 6 or 7am.

    • +1

      I totally agree with you. I had neighbours put bags of rubbish in my bin on collection night, such that the bin was over full. The garbage man stopped to take a picture of my bin before emptying it, so he could report me for over filling the bin. Luckily I had video and contacted my local council, who sarcastically commented "Wow, lovely neighbours!" and sent somebody around to have a word with them.

      So to those who think a bin is "fair game" if it's on the kerb — it's not.

      • +1

        Agree totally, you are very lucky to have such video covering yourself. Because a lot of times when they filled up their bins they rather overfill someone else so they don't get into trouble….

        That itself is very selfish. Each household pay council rates for these collections, and someone's dirty work get take account under your name is the worse ever.

        So yes its not free for all at the kerb.

  • +1

    On bin day I chuck a bucket of water and disinfectant in the bin on top of the bags of rubbish BEFORE the bin is emptied.
    When I get home and bring the bin in - it smells good till next week.

  • dont covet thy neighbors clean bins.

  • -1

    yr daddy does