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Binchester: the I-Spy selection

Sleuth's guide to Manchester's bin-life

Published on February 26th 2009.

Binchester: the I-Spy selection

Sleuth (our man about town) has been much discomoded by street furniture of late. As has Phil Griffin with his sad tale of yuccas (click here). Walking through Piccadilly late last Saturday, Sleuth had to swerve to miss a posse of lively young folk trying to use the portable toilets by the Berlin Wall. He walked straight into a bin and almost broke his camera.

Since then he's been bin spotting...or even bin bin spotting. Here's his guide to our extraordinary range of street waste disposal systems.

Sleuth finds the variegated nature of the Manchester bin family disconcerting. What does it say about the city's consistency of design? Is there a special bin-buying department in the Town Hall? Is there a man with a bin fetish and a bin catalogue gratifying himself in a dusty upstairs room in the Clock Tower?

1: Piccadilly Gardens with this fine example by Tadao Bindo, masterplanned by Bin Design Partnership.

2: Classic city waste-bin showing city crest. Note perfect relationship with planter, chewing gum patterns and garnish of fag butts.

3: Post smoking ban example of the classic Manchester bin, with cigarette extinguisher adornment.

4: This Rubenesque bin has shapely buxom curves and stands teasing the squarer bins outside Princess Street Tesco Express. What a doll!

5: Appropriately in the Peace Gardens, Manchester’s bid for discarded Nuclear Bin Free City status means a classic three in one combo of bin, ashtray and paper recycler. Beautiful.

6: These skips at the back of the Britannia Hotel were only saved when the Watts Warehouse fire crew valiantly stepped in (nice historical reference there, Ed).

7: Thomas Worthbinton designed steel drum bin, with embossed 'Manchester bee' design.

8: Chinatown example of post mounted mini-bin with androgynous diagrammatical instruction decal.

9: Other refuse devices – Portico Library fag end dispenser, as maintained by John Dalton in return for free membership, and charming rat bin from Chinatown car park.

10: Binsackville Gardens. Note flamboyant gay design. Good for disposal of half eaten apples by eminent scientists who can't move from nearby benches.

11: Perfect contrast of Original (Charles Street Viaduct) and Modern (vacuum formed two tone plastic refuse skip).

12: Ian Binpson smiley-bin. Totally impractical but gorgeous.

13: Can recycler with Drink Aware branding. Useful for visiting Scottish football fans.

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21 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Burt CodeineFebruary 26th 2009.

Yes, that Mtwo2? place could be heavy with the gum chud of fast speeding mouth ends...but it's noticeable elsewhere too. I remember the chewing gum blasters which were high news in the city some time ago...whatever happened to them?Spotted a corker of a futuristic bin outside Manchester Cathedral earlier today - looked relatively practical too.

AnonymousFebruary 26th 2009.

If Cllrs Karney or Ramsbotton are reading, can we have a bin on Ducie Street please, perhaps near The Place. There isn't one at all, which is probably why the street is strewn with half-eaten kebabs etc each weekend mornings. If we can pick and choose, I'd prefer the camp Sackville Gardens one or the Rubenesque model. Not sure what this tells me about my sexuality though?!

Ali McGowanFebruary 26th 2009.

Some bin consistency would make a nice difference to our streets and parks. Plastic ones look cheap and often get burned to the ground; the cylindrical ones, whilst reminding us of the busy bee, are all in need to a good paint, plus rubbish blows out of them when they're almost full - and they aren't very big either... In general the hotch-potch of designs, most of which are crappy, makes a mess of our streetscape. We'd do well taking a lead from Sheffield - their city centre bins, certainly in the revamped parts of town, are large, simple and very smart. In Australia, where they're ahead on the recycling game, they often have 2 simple, smart bins side by side - one for general waste and one for glass / cans / paper / plastic. It looks a lot better than our attempts at introducing sporadic recycling bins. Here's the idea, then. Rip out all of our current bins, save for the 'designer' ones in specific parts of town. It would not cost a fortune to run a design competition to come up with a [matching!] range of smart, new, robust bins for Manchester, citywide. A simple, easy-to-maintain, long-living design would smarten up the place considerably... and designed properly, will last for many, many years.

scrappyFebruary 26th 2009.

i noticed the huge amount of gum on the pavement outside the radisson....but i suspect it is outside Mtwo more

mark mFebruary 26th 2009.

But the statues piss in the street there

In MemoriamFebruary 26th 2009.

Can we do the benches after the bins? It's lovely the variety we have in Manchester.

Publisher JimFebruary 26th 2009.

You should actually print these as I-Spy books....that's pretty original and modern

Bin There Done ThatFebruary 26th 2009.

This article is rubbish! (Someone had to say it). But seriously, the idea for a design competition is a good one. Let's get Council feedbacj - soon.

Ted threetwooneFebruary 26th 2009.

Poor old Lozz sometimes people don't get you do they Sleuth? Probably not clever enough. This is hilarious, it's always vaguely struck me that there was something odd about the city streets, something nagging away. Now I know what it was: bin discrepancies.

Burt CodeineFebruary 26th 2009.

My preference is the Pan Asian/South side LA style bin of number 8. You get a free game of basketball thrown in too.A cousin of mine from the Midlands often pops up to see me in Manchester - she loves the place as it happens but commented on how she's never seen so much 'chuddy' and cig ends on the streets as in Manchester (and this comment was made outside of the 5 star Free Trade Hall hotel). Slightly off topic (although there's enough evidence in the pics above) but I felt it worth addressing...

Middy LadFebruary 26th 2009.

Back in December I walked all around Spinningfields trying to find a bin to dispose of my lunchtime sandwich wrapper and I couldn't find a single one. The first one I got to was on Denesgate. Not sure if this has been addressed since but if not, it should be.

DaveFebruary 26th 2009.

Echoing the statement above, is number 13 really a can recylcer? There's no indication on them saying so (apart from the can shaped hole), I've just been using these as normal bins..

Ee bah gumFebruary 26th 2009.

Burt Codeine will be glad to know that the Gum Blasters have returned to our streets after a winter break. They were out in force on Wednesday Night in St Ann's Square.

eugeneFebruary 26th 2009.

my word - no. 13 is a can recycler?? Well I never, MCC has been way ahead of its' time, that's been there for years. Note - one on Quay St. too. But...err...why don't they have a big poster highlighting the fact that it's for can's only only?

ktfairyFebruary 26th 2009.

Bee bins - that's what we need. The bee - the symbol of the hard working people of Manchester is not seen enough. I like the bins with bees on. We could have modern fancy new bins by all means - but put the bee on them to show that they are in Manchester.

Bin Lay DownFebruary 26th 2009.

Mark, I think that's Brussels. I'm more concerned that seemingly a light-hearted piece revealed that Drew, the little perv, has been bothering about bins whilst staying in attractive foreign cities. Hope he wasn't courting.

CheesmanFebruary 26th 2009.

What about the variety of bollards. Actually I might start a band called that: The Variety of Bollards.

LozzFebruary 26th 2009.

Awesome, sensational, controversial article Slueth. Loose Women will be all over this one like wildfire.

drew peaecockFebruary 26th 2009.

Went to Copenhagen the other week..they had compactor bins, place was immaculate.

Lozz, @Ted threetwooneFebruary 26th 2009.

Total Sarcasm & Light Hearted jest in the spirit of the article Ted threetwoone! Course I get it! Why would it be taken any other way? ManCon isnt exactly a uber serious broadsheet is it, so I expect some quality nonsense news to brighten up my day. More please!

SteFebruary 26th 2009.

At the risk of missing the point of this article, the quality of street furniture (and general streetscape) around Manchester greatly diminishes the largely good work in building and architecture that has gone on over the last decade and a half. Please please please can we stop putting in the pointless plastic grey bollards wherever there is a spare flagstone in the city centre! They are cheap looking, getting broken and tattered at the slightest touch and contribute to the scruffy state of Piccadilly, Exchange Square, and each end of Market Street. Rant over!

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