Article by Karl Deeter, Irish Mortgage Brokers
Somebody has been filling my bins with their rubbish. This happens regularly in Dublin and I’m told that it isn’t uncommon in Galway and Cork as well. Different places have different ways that other people can take advantage of your property. For instance, I have yet to hear of a home heating oil theft in Dublin, but it happens all over rural Ireland.
And what’s worse? All of the bins were filled, but the green bin wasn’t filled with recyclable material, it was filled with nappies and things that made me start to gag when the smell wafted out.
The hard thing with bins is that you’ll almost never catch somebody in the act, and at the same time, there is little you can do to deter a person without catching them. Which is why I decided to make an improvised locking system for wheelie bins.
There is a company in the UK called ‘Binlock’ who have a decent product (if it actually fitted the bins we have here), but because their locks are just a little too small to work on many bins I opted to craft a way of locking a bin myself (cheaply) and I’ll show you how today.
This will make three locks (one for each of the black, brown, and green bins)
The things you will need are:
- one metre of 4mm chain
- Locktite Thread lock (a glue for locking nuts onto bolts)
- 40mm M6 bolts and nuts (two for each bin)
- 40mm washers (two for each bin)
- Common keyed locks – you get these in any decent locksmiths
- A 20mm drill bit for wood (although we’ll be drilling plastic)
The first thing you’ll need to do is get the metre of chain cut into three pieces, they’ll normally do this for you at the hardware shop.
Then you need to drill two holes in the bin, one as close under the lip of the main bin as you can (towards the centre – see the first picture) the other in the lid and make it close to the edge but make sure the chain can come through easily, you can see the position in later pictures, for now you don’t have to have it ready, I just do them both at the same time while using the drill.
The next step is to secure the chain to the bin, to do this you use the bolts and washers, don’t skip this step, although you could always have a chain that you simply take right off, there are two hazards which I learned the hard way and will spare you from.
On the inside I use a two washers, a bolt and a nut and you put them through a link in the chain as you see below.
This now means you can’t pull the chain through but the chain could still sip into the bin because the other side isn’t secured, so that’s the next thing to do, on the opposite side of that bin wall you need to repeat this step.
On this side I didn’t use two washers (I ran out and the head of the bolt is big enough that it should hold but ideally you’ll want to use two washers.
Next you need to open your locktite thread glue. This is a blue fluid that you put on a bolt and twist a nut over it. When it dries it makes it near impossible to remove. So loosen your nuts on each side just a little (that sentence reads kind of weird on it’s own) and put the thread glue on then tighten them up again. Now that chain will be going nowhere unless it is sawed off. You can see what I mean in the picture below.
In this shot the glue is both in the threaded area under the nut and also down the shaft of the bolt a little too which makes it impossible to move.
Now you just drill a hole in the top of the bin and you are just about finished! You can see how the locking system works, it ensures that people can’t lift the lid on your bin, and rather than try to open it, opportunists who dump their rubbish in other peoples bins tend to go to the next bin (which won’t be yours!).
The other thing to remember is to get common keyed locks so that one key works on all of them, this is just handy, nothing worse than faffing with keys in the rain trying to unlock a bin, it also means if you lose a key you have replacements. A common keyed lock will cost a few euro more than a regular one but it’s worth it in the long run.
Last of all is to make sure you leave your bins unlocked on collection day, in my case I just leave the lock on there so that the chain stays out of the way but where the lid can open (last picture)
The only thing you have to watch out for now is the amount of time between your bin being emptied and re-locking it, that is the only window of opportunity anybody will have to fill your bin for you.
I know some of you may be laughing at the idea of locking your bin, but if you live in a densely populated area where you have to keep bins outside you’ll know the frustration of this and how annoying it is to pay to dispose of other peoples rubbish!