Smarten up your outside space with a wheelie bin enclosure

Smarten up your outside space with a wheelie bin enclosure

Vital as they are, wheelie bins and recycling boxes aren't the most beautiful things. The answer to bin blight? Store them in a wooden enclosure and make a feature of an eyesore

By Coco Piras
Carpenter Tim Mansfield built this enclosure for residents in north London

Walk along any street and the thing you notice most in front gardens are not lovely flowers and shrubs...rather the obtrusive presence of plastic wheelie bins in utilitarian dark colours. So if you're fed up with bin blight, well, you can effect an instant transformation with a wooden wheelie bin enclosure. Find pleasing designs at BritishBins, B&Q, and Jacksons. Pictured above: large bespoke timber unit on concrete base with additional shelving inside. It was built on-site for residents of a property in north London by carpenter Tim Mansfield. From £500 depending on wood and hardware chosen. Contact:

It might be pushing it say a wheelie bin enclosure can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but it does remove an eyesore from view and replace it with an appealing-looking timber framed shelter.

If you're an urban dweller, you can't have failed to notice the proliferation of wheelie bins as councils give them to households for their recycling as well as their landfill rubbish bags. So the space in front of houses and flats are full of them, and that's what you tend to notice as you walk down the road. And if you have a large garden, your bins will detract from it, so again, you'll benefit from putting them under wood.

Wooden enclosures are clearly an answer to the problem and there are some very attractive products on the market, says Regina Alonzi at BritishBins, which has good range from shelters for a single bin to products that hold multiple bins with shelves for recycling boxes. 'I think the slatted wooden enclosures are nice to look at in themselves, they're not hugely expensive and they do allow you to keep your front garden less cluttered with plastic,' says Alonzi.

The treated softwood unit costs £312 and holds 1xwheelie bin and 4xrecycling boxes.
FSC-timber single slatted bin enclosure form B&Q, £97.
Double willow wheelie bin screen, £149, 140x85x120cms. Natural willow panel doors.
Single slatted wood enclosure for a 240L bin, £135.50,

Most reputatable retailers sell products made from pressure-treated softwood from managed forests and look for a 10-year guarantee. B&Q goes one better as all of its timber is FSC-certified. For enclosures made in the UK visit Ashford-based Jacksons' website, as they manufacture their bin enclosures in Kent, while BritishBins and The Garden Village has a deluxe range of enclosures manufactured in Lancashire

The most popular design style is for products made from horizontal slats of wood, which look contemporary and also allow air to circulate, so preventing heinous odours from percolating under the lid. Products come flat-packed and as they can be fairly heavy, you'll probably need two people to assemble them. 

Check the size of your bin before ordering an enclosure
If you have a wood burning stove, you can store your logs in an aesthetically pleasing way too with timber enclosures
Lift-up lids make it easy to put your waste in the bin.
Rutland FSC timber double unit, £254.99, at

Rubbish collection day

It's worth noting that some local councils ask that wheelie bin enclosures in front gardens don't have doors or lids as they slow down the work of refuse collectors who just want to grab and go. So if you do have an enclosure that completely hides your bin, you should wheel it out of its home on the day the marvellous yet under appreciated binpeople do their collections.