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Bin refurb is far more than a cosmetic job

Specialist repair 2000

Services to improve the refurbishment and repair of waste containers are evolving all the time. 

Long gone are the days when making them look brand new suffices.

Towards the end of 2015, UK Container Maintenance (UKCM) launched an initiative called ‘Beef Up Your Bins’, which demonstrated the importance of strengthening containers. It was devised by the technical team to ensure that containers which received an intense amount of wear and tear are treated accordingly.

The team identified problem areas that are in need of extra reinforcement such as front panels, rear wheel and castor bracket areas. These areas often become weak when repaired, so it is important that reinforcing plates are fitted to the castor bracket areas and bash plates to the front corners of the panels. This will prevent the corner floor areas from buckling and stop structural damage so that containers can be manoeuvred easily.

UKCM has also seen an increase in the replacement of container floors, particularly for those which hold acidic waste or alcohol where erosion has taken place. When fitting a new floor it is important that the old areas which received the most wear are treated and reinforced appropriately.

This initiative now allows container fleets to last much longer, and the cost-effective service will save councils and waste firms thousands of pounds each year.

A fast turnaround is key in this sector and a rapid response service has been provided by UKCM for almost 20 years. It can now visit customers all over the country and perform repairs and refurbishments, coded welding, testing under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations and other essential work.

For keeping containers located in their designated place, footoperated locks are cost-effective. Easy to install, the locks allow operatives to manoeuvre the unit to the waste vehicle during the disposal process. This ensures that they are less likely to be stolen or moved elsewhere.

UKCM works closely with Waste Industry Safety & Health (WISH) guidelines to address issues and safe practice. It is currently developing further guidelines for the maintenance and repair of larger containers with other WISH members.

Lock it up

The health and safety of containers is another aspect that UKCM is passionate about, and the company introduces new mechanisms regularly to help keep containers secure. We frequently hear about rough sleepers taking shelter in containers, often leading to fatal accidents, so it is important to protect bins at all times.

New forest lock

New forest lock

A popular option for securing container lids is the new forest lock, which uses a padlock to prevent unauthorised entry. Such locks are inexpensive, straightforward to fit and, when used with a combination padlock, do without the need for keys.

One particular style favoured at UKCM is the easy-to-operate Press2Lock mechanism. It does not lock unintentionally when the lid shuts by mistake, reducing the risk of people or animals getting trapped and helping to prevent the cross-contamination of recyclables. Press2Lock also incorporates an instruction plate that glows in the dark to help users at night.

There are a vast array of locks on the market and it can be confusing to know which to choose. UKCM feels that gravity locks should be avoided because they are easily prised open and, if someone climbs in, it can slam shut and lock the person in.

A worthwhile consideration for lids is a ‘lid in lid’ option, which is ideal for ensuring that large items are not being incorrectly disposed of due to the small aperture of the second lid. This is also suitable for areas where it is common for rough sleepers to take shelter.

Mark Roberts is technical and development manager from UK Container Maintenance (UKCM)

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