Could talking litter bins help keep your site clean and tidy?

Imagine being thanked for putting your rubbish in the bin – by the bin itself!  Novelty talking litter bins in the shape of penguins, chicks and bears are helping improve litter collection rates in play areas, parks and family attractions across the country. 

The bins are supplied by Derbyshire-based manufacturer Amberol who have bins as far afield as Australia. Messages are recorded on a voice box activated by a light sensor which detects when litter has been placed in the bin.  Users can record any message that they like – they can even sing!

Amberol’s managing director Patience Atkinson-Gregory explains the impact that the bins have had. “Our animal and bird shaped bins are eye-catching enough, but when the use of a voice box is added, they become a real talking point. In fact, it’s not unusual to see children (and adults) queueing up to deposit their litter in the bins. Our customers tell us that they significantly help to reduce litter in areas such as playgrounds and theme parks.”

Chaddesden Park in Derbyshire is one site that has installed the talking bins. The child friendly robin and bear bins have been programmed to respond with a series of messages such as ‘Yum yum, feed me more’ and ‘That’s the best meal I’ve had today’ when litter is deposited into the beak/mouth aperture.   

The bins are available in a range of designs. The Amberol bear bin has a maximum capacity of 180 litres and the bird bins have a capacity of 90 litres. Made from recyclable polyethylene, the bins also have a lock and key for security.

“Similar initiatives in places such as Sweden have shown how small rewards and positive messages, combined with the novelty factor can all encourage higher usage of the bins,” explains Patience. “Establishing good habits in children from an early age will hopefully create habits that last a lifetime.” 

The bins have also been a big hit in a children’s play area in Townhill, Scotland. Ronnie Cowan, Chairman of Townhill Community Council believes that the bins have had a real impact on litter. “The chick and penguin look great in the children’s play area and they have been really well received so far. Both adults and children love the novelty of being thanked in song for depositing their litter. Anything which helps to keep our beautiful park clean and tidy has to be a good thing.”

Any bins from the Amberol range can be fitted with a sound card to help improve your litter collection rates. 

Amberol will be on stand 2920. For more information 01773 830 930 today or email

Restaurant Tech Live blog post 1