The Marital Art Of Bin Ninja

Full bins outside our house. In this instance, they’re ours. The rest of this post won’t be about them so much.

“You need to go to the tip,” is something Tracey will occasionally tell me. Only we both know she’s saying a lot more than that because tips are full of dirt and, in this weather, mud, so she’s also asking me to wash the car and give it a vacuum.

In the words of Supernanny Jo Frost, that is unaccepable.

Which is why I, like so many before me, have become a master of Bin Ninja.

Personally, and I know this is silly but I don’t care, I hum the Mission Impossible theme while conducting these manoeuvres. But I do it quietly, because I’m a ninja. And scared of being caught.

Other Bin Ninja hits you might like to try – Night Moves, It’s Oh So Quiet, Tip Toe Thru The Tulips, Secret Agent Man.

This week I had a sizeable stash to make disappear from our property, and with some Monkey Magic and a bit of stealth, I managed it undetected.

Sitting in readiness. Once the sun’s down, the street is fair game.

Or at least I thought I did.

“What you doing, Daddy?” Miss4 asked me loudly from our driveway.

I was crossing the road back to our side of the street.

“Just taking the rubbish out,” I told her sort of honestly.

“But Daddy,” she said, pointing somewhere to her left, “you missed our bins.”

She’s too young to understand the ways of the Bin Ninja just yet, but one day, I will train her like I trained her older siblings.

Considering coming over to the dark side of waste management? Here are my six top tips:

  1. Permission Sure, it’s polite to ask before topping up a neighbour’s bin. But where’s the fun in that? Still, if you really feel you must ask, don’t lay all your cards on the table. Stealth is still a key element of Bin Ninja. Take one half full bag of clean rubbish (cardboard, paper, etc – absolutely nothing dripping) with you when you ask your neighbour the carefully crafted question, “Would you mind if I used your bin? We’re out of room.” Notice I propose saying nothing about ‘this bag of rubbish’ or including any sort of time frame. It’s hard to remember to leave these bits out so it might pay to practice in front of a mirror a few times before you go. It’s so worth it though, because a yes to this question is open-slather to use the empty space in their bin every week from here on in. At least, that’s the argument you’ll use in court.
  2. Mastermind Remove all self-incriminating evidence. I’m talking about stuff with your name on it. You don’t want an envelope or birthday card to give you away because that can end up with an awkward pile of rubbish on your front lawn the next day – apparently. Seems some people have dicks for neighbours. Personally, I’d dob them into council for littering. The beauty of this is even though it’s your stuff you know who it is.
  3. Etiquette I can’t believe I need to mention this, but don’t mix the food scraps in with the recycles. That just isn’t cricket. Make the effort and walk the extra twenty steps to your next neighbour’s bin.
  4. Spotlight What if a car comes? What if you’re caught in their headlights? Relax, they’re not interrogating you and, unless you’re in the middle of the road with a black Santa sack over your shoulder as they come past, they probably haven’t even noticed you, so don’t duck behind trees trying to get their attention. Act like you have every right to be there. Because unless you get caught, you do.
  5. Distribution While we’re on that, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you’ve several bags to get rid of, don’t play favourites: spread them amongst a few of your neighbours. No one likes to feel left out.
  6. Misdirection What if you get caught? Simply think of some other reason to be there. Take the dog with you. Or don’t, and call the dog’s name out like they’re missing. Don’t have a dog? If they haven’t seen you make the delivery, you might say something like, “I thought I heard someone out here messing with your bin.” That way, if they look, you can pretend someone else put that stuff in there. If they have seen you using up their empty bin space, you could try, “Sorry, my night vision is crap. I thought this was our bin.” And if that isn’t good enough for your neighbours and they’re being jerks about it, next time consider Bin Ninjaing any rotten eggs you want to throw out at their windows. Haha. Just joking…or am I?

Which means, the rubbish is gone and the missus is happy. Mission accomplished.

Any tips I’ve missed, write them in below?

“Would you mind if I used your bin? We’re out of room.” Practice in front of that mirror.

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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”


  • Some councils give you an extra bin if you have a large family. Not sure what constitutes “large” though. I do this all the time and have never, to my knowledge, been busted yet. I start with the bin furthest along the street and work my way back towards home. Ive only had a dog encounter once, just after I’d dumped suspect black bag, so pretended I was on my evening walk. Poor unsuspecting neighbour apologised over and over for his dog’s poor behaviour. I felt so badly for him I almost incriminated myself.

  • We have two of each and it really throws some of the new garbos. They have skipped one of our bins accusing us of stealing one from the park. They had to come back and do an extra round to collect it when they sorted it all out. We are happy to offer up the space if there is any available.

  • Our bins dont’ have numbers on them and each side of the street is emptied on a different day so if the neighbours forget to put their bin out it ends up on our side next to ours the next morning I am yet to work out ‘who’ is doing it lol. I can’t sit there all day watching to see who it is and I don’t really mind because we have done the same thing to get a ‘double’ emptying in one week LOL

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