The evolution of a recycling bin

The Meridian recycling bin from Leafield Environmental was designed in partnership with the University of Greenwich in 2012

Their brief was to make recycling easier by separating mixed recyclables and non-recyclable waste at source and using the design of the bin to achieve this. 

The 110 litre Meridian Envirobin bin was initially designed to take the two waste streams in one unit with a 70:30 split in favour of the mixed recyclables in order to encourage recycling. A lift lid on the non-recyclables side further encouraged users to stop and think before committing their waste to landfill. Brightly coloured, WRAP compliant lids, recycling labels and signage created the necessary impact and the scheme proved to be a significant step in the University’s sustainability journey towards its Zero Waste goal.

The initial brief also required a bin with a narrow footprint and flat back that could be placed against a wall in corridors without causing obstruction but for situations where space is even more restricted, the need for three separate receptacles within the same bin became evident. 

The triple lid Meridian Envirobin was quickly introduced and further customised to meet individual customers’ waste streams. A lid with a hole aperture, along with supporting signage helps segregate cans or bottles very successfully. A liquids reservoir and lid were also made available and soon after, a 100% open top version and a 70:30 split lid with both sides open. The range grew quickly in response to customer demands. 

Seeing the 100% open lid, a customer suggested that a lower version with a smaller capacity would be ideal for use in an office environment and the Mini Meridian was born with a capacity of 87 litres, followed quickly by a slot lid to turn it into a paper collection bin.

Bath Spa University wanted to adopt a bag-less approach. This resulted in the development and introduction of a system of removable liners for the 110 litre, triple lid Meridian Envirobin, comprising a 28 litre liner, a 62 litre liner and a 10 litre food caddy that sits within the latter.

Because the lids are interchangeable, customers can reconfigure the bins to suit their changing recycling requirements without the need to purchase further bins.

The Meridian range has evolved significantly since its introduction, resulting in what could now be considered as the most flexible and customisable waste collection and ‘segregation at source’ solution available. 

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