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When trying to choose a size of Skip Bin are you a trailer or wheelie bin person?

News > When trying to choose a size of Skip Bin are you a trailer or wheelie bin person?

I have nearly gotten in to big trouble over the difference between trailers and wheelie bins and who uses which as a measure of volume when trying to estimate how much waste they have. And as a consequence I am left wondering if it is sexist or racists to assume that cerrtain people are more comfortable thinking about measures or volumes using a particular item.

Talking to customers day in and day out about how much waste they have that they want to get rid of has raised a few questions for me about the concept and visualisation of volumes. I grew up in the period when metrification was occurring. This was a period when the world decided that feet and inches were too difficult to understand so we needed to all change and adopt meters, litres and grammes. I have to say that this made a lot of sense because it is far easier to canculate in units of 10 rather than having to be across 12 inches to a foot , 3 feet to a yard etc.  And that is simple compared to pints and gallons, pounds and ounces.

Trailer Volume versus Skip BinsSo in many of the conversations I have with people, I have to observe that a lot of folk pronounce that they cannot visualise a cubic meter. The cubic meter is the standard measure of the skip bin industry so it is quite important to be able to to picture that volume. But I guess the problem is that this is not a measure that is in every day use by most people. Today, the most common measure of volume is probably the litre. We buy milk from the supermarket in liter or 2 litre containers. We fill our cars up with petrol at the garage and pay for the number of litres we poured into the tank. Oops we can't see that as a volume because we cannot see the size of the tank.

So to help people visualise volume I try to get them to think about an everyday item that they maybe more familar with. And the 2 items favoured by the waste industry seem to be the standard 6 by 4 trailer and the household wheelie bin.  I lean to wards the standard (6 by 4) trailer as I owned one once and would fill it up with camping gear before embarking on holiday. The wheelie bin on the other hand has to be taken out and put on the roadside at least once a week. So whoever is taking the wheelie bin out will get to know that size because of the time and effort taken in manuerving it up and down the drive and placing it on the edge of the road.

Now this is where, I am told I could be treading dangerously. Because in a politically correct world I should not assume men or women are likely to be more familiar with either of these tasks.  But from an annetdotal perspective from speaking to thousands of people I have 3 wheelie Bins (320 litre) to the cubic metera revelation. Men seem to be more familiar with the size of a trailer that they are with the size of a wheelie bin.  Now this is not a case of chalk and cheese. There are many exceptions to this observation. It is just a broad generalisation. Now what I wondering is why is this so? Could it be that too many men are lacking in experience when it comes to take the wheelie bin out. Is it that men always end up "person" handling the trailer to attached it to the car.

And then comes the bigger question? So, if it is sexist to think that it is more likely that men can conceive of volume in trailer loads and women are wheelie bin orientated . Does that mean there is some thing dark and forboding about people who think in pounds, feet and gallons?

So here is the most important peice of information to take away from this article. The volume of a level loaded 6 by 4 trailer, level loaded is about 1 cubic meter. So if you think you have 4 trailer loads of rubbish you will need a 4 cubic meter bin to avoid having to make 4 trps to the tip.  Alternatiively for those wheelie bin people out there, if you have got about 9 wheelie bins of rubbish to throw out, you will need a 3 cubic meter bin because there are about 3 wheelie bins to the cubic meter.


  • Authored By:Steve Shergold
  • Updated:29/10/2018