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enter image description hereHow can you secure trash-bins at the end of a sloped driveway, on a windy day? Is side-by-side placement recommended to stabilize bins or should they remain apart as generally advised by sanitation company? Thanks!

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    Welcome to the site. Your question doesn't appear to be about home improvement, and might be a better fit on another Stack Exchange site like Physics.SE.
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 8, 2016 at 14:11
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    I get that, but depending on the level of answer you want, this might not be the best site. If you want to understand the physics behind your question on a detailed level I wanted to make sure you knew there were better Stack Exchange sites for that.
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 8, 2016 at 14:22
  • The objects are everyday household objects, but the expertise needed to answer the question (forces caused by cars rushing by stationary objects) is definitely in Physics.SE. If you were to change this question by asking how you can secure trash bins at the end of a sloped driveway, it would be a good fit for this site.
    – mbeckish
    Feb 8, 2016 at 14:23
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    The automatic grabber is an amazing time saver, but it cannot work on cans that are too close (grabber needs to get on each side of can). So the driver has to climb down off the truck and reposition your cans. You really need a flat place to put your cans, landscape accordingly. Feb 8, 2016 at 23:27
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    This question does not appear to be about home improvement within the scope defined in the help center.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 26, 2021 at 11:35

3 Answers 3

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Placing the bins close to each other has nothing to do with them tipping over or not. The reason they tip over is because of the relation of the "point of rotation" in its relation to the direction of wind.

When the "point of rotation" (the wheels) are placed on the leeward side, then it takes significantly less effort to rotate (tip over) the bins. So, if the bins can be rotated 180 degrees so the wheels are on the windward side, it will be much more difficult to tip the bins over, (because the fulcrum point is moved a couple of feet against the wind.)

Likewise, if the bin is set on a slope, it will be "more difficult" or "less difficult" depending on which side the point of rotation is placed in relation to the wind. So, if they won't let you rotate the bins, you could place a small object (like a wood block, etc.) under the wheels. This will move the center of gravity towards the wind and thus make it more difficult to tip the bin over.

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  • I don't understand the point of rotation argument. The bottom edge of the bin is just as good of a fulcrum as the wheels. In fact, wheels on the leeward side should make it harder to tip the bin, since as the bin begins to tip, the force of the wind will cause the whole bin to start rolling and counteract the tilt. If it starts to tip on an edge instead of a wheel, the force of the wind just provides torque to tip the bin, as none gets "bled off" by moving the bin translationally. Oct 26, 2021 at 18:00
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In my area the problem with the sloped driveway is solved by simply placing the bins along the curbing to the side of the driveway. The roadway surface is typically sloped down a small amount toward the curb and this helps to keep the wheels of the bin squarely against the curb. This in my experience offers more support for the bin in high wind conditions by trying to place them directly adjacent with each other.

The negative factor with placing bins directly together is that the trash company driver will often bypass pickup at your location if you do this. And you can expect to get the bright orange warning sheet taped to your bin if you persist in doing this.

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According to my friend who is a medical doctor and mechanical engineer, the best way to position garbage-bins during a windy-day — without supporting materials to anchor — is to situate them side-by-side exactly as I've pictured in the posted-question; boundary conditions explain the stabilizing-effect achieved: a very large, single-file line of trash-bins will efficiently resist forces during windy-conditions and more effectively than if they were otherwise arranged spaced-apart.

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