TABLE OF CONTENTS Oct 2013 - 0 comments

Under Cover

Below-ground collection goes mainstream with Progressive Waste Service's EarthBin

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By: Guy Crittenden

Collecting waste and recyclables below-ground in single or multiple streams has gradually gained acceptance over the past decade in North America. With the introduction of the new EarthBin™ ( by Progressive Waste Solutions, it appears to be going mainstream.

There are good reasons that below-ground waste collection is getting traction. Our cities are expanding and densifying, which puts demands on space. Parking lots are needed; parks are wanted. From developers to architects to city planners and dwellers, everyone is acutely aware of the cost of real estate. As such, moving waste collection underground makes sense.

Beyond space economy, below-ground collection solves the perennial issues associated with waste and recycling collection such as odours, litter, illegal dumping and wildlife issues.

For some time, Progressive Waste Solutions has provided below-ground waste systems at the request of customers. Until the spring of 2013, these systems were made wholly in Europe, but as demand escalated rate, the company realized it could only meet ongoing market expectations by controlling the design, manufacturing, quality and costs of the systems themselves. The company decided to begin manufacturing their own product right here in Canada: the Earthbin was born.

Taking control of the design allowed the company to enhance certain features of the below-ground system, like thickening the roto-molded outer well. The Earthbin itself, which fits into that well, is roto-molded out of one solid piece, thus giving double-wall containment between leachate and the environment.

leachate and the environment

Each time the units are emptied, eliminating any potential liquid on parking lots and surrounding areas.

Earthbin also provides the best of both worlds: the benefits of below-ground collection with the speed and efficiency of front-load servicing.

During the design of the EarthBin, attention was paid to every detail. Case in point, each unit has two user-lids (one front and one back) eliminating potential dead-space at the back of units. Both the servicing and user-lids have automatic locks, which prevents illegal dumping, product theft, vandalism and infiltration from urban wildlife.

The main lock on the service lid is gravity based, automatically releasing when the unit is tipped for dumping and re-engaging as the unit is placed back into the well.

With these key features and improvements, coupled with the infrastructure that Progressive Waste Solutions brings to the table, it looks like below-ground waste and recycling collection will soon be popular across the country and North America.

Guy Crittenden is editor of this magazine. Contact Guy at


Designed and manufactured in Canada, the EarthBin is comprised of durable components that will look good for years. The bin has a small above-ground footprint, storing the majority of waste materials underground/ The bin sits in heavy-duty well installed in the ground. The majority of the bin is made of thick dint- and rust-free polyethylene. This material provides superior impact resistance even in very cold temperatures, and can cleans easily. All metal parts are made from structural steel coated with hot-dipped galvanize, while fasteners are stainless steel, aluminum or galvanized. The steel band across the front further enhances durability as it supports the plastic bin during lifting and dumping. Lid components are made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with structural aluminum and steel parts inserted for additional strength (especially to resist snow loading and extreme temperature variations)
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Caption: Designed and manufactured in Canada, the EarthBin is co...
A key advantage of the EarthBin design is that it allows for front-load servicing. This is crucial for tight locations like alleyways or dead-ends, and especially because the units can be emptied by conventional front-end loaders. Leachate is automatically removed every time the units are emptied.
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Typical EarthBin installation.
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Caption: Typical EarthBin installation.

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