Daniel Coulon ABICSc, Director, The National Association of Wheeled Bin Washers, reports.
The National Association of Wheeled Bin Washers (NAWBW) celebrates a major milestone during 2023 having reached our 20th anniversary as the bin cleaning industry’s only association. Formed back in 2003, the NAWBW was set up by a team heavily involved in the bin cleaning industry running one of the oldest and largest bin cleaning services, a manufacturer of bin cleaning equipment and an international bin cleaning franchise opportunity.
It was felt that a proper body should be launched to professionalise the industry and advise people looking to start their own bin cleaning services on where to source equipment, gain the correct insurance and chemicals and how to comply with all Environment Agency and local water company rules and regulations.
There was also a requirement to police the industry’s cowboy operators who did not have the correct equipment or licenses and were polluting the environment, pouring wastewater down rain gullies and using harmful unapproved chemicals.
These operators were able to undercut established licensed companies who worked properly and legally, giving the industry a bad reputation.
As is often the case the UK established the first bin cleaning industry. Since the 1990s we have seen it grow and develop from a few owner-operator style white van men washing a few hundred bins using makeshift equipment with home use pressure washers, to an established industry with over 300 companies using state-of-the-art bespoke equipment, which is mostly manufactured here in the UK.
These companies often operate multiple vehicles and employ many staff and are now washing bins for the MOD, NHS, care homes, schools, and hospitality venues as well as the domestic public right across the UK.
Countries across Europe, along with the USA, Australia and elsewhere, now use the UK as a template to develop their own bin cleaning industries. They often source bin washing equipment from manufacturers here in the UK so companies including Morclean, Green Cleen and Binzruz Aquatek are leading the way globally in the development and manufacturing of both mobile and static bin washing machines.
The NAWBW has many proud achievements over the last couple of decades since its formation. To name but a few, the NAWBW produced a Charter and Mission Statement along with a health and safety handbook approved by the Environment Agency and DEFRA. We have built relationships with chemical suppliers, insurance companies and bin washer equipment manufacturers to gain membership discounts with their products and now have over a 100 members who are vetted annually to guarantee to their customers that they are subcontracting professional, legally licensed and insured bin cleaning services. We have worked closely with the Environment Agency and some water companies as well as local councils to give input into their rules, regulations and guidelines.
The NAWBW has attracted large national contracts from property management companies, waste contractors, the NHS and many others which have been distributed around our membership, but our proudest achievement was to join the British Cleaning Council, which is the authoritative voice of the UK cleaning, hygiene and waste industry, a sector worth nearly £59bn a year to the country’s economy and one which employs 1.47 million people.
The council’s membership is made up of 22 trade and membership associations which includes the NAWBW, ranging from contract cleaning to waste management, pest control to housekeeping, training providers to machine manufacturers, chemical suppliers, and of course wheelie-bin washers. Through our BCC membership, the NAWBW acts as the voice of the bin cleaning industry on behalf of its members.
Over the next few years, we plan to grow the association and its membership and advise bin cleaners in other countries looking at setting up associations overseas.
We have invited other bin cleaning equipment manufacturers to our board of directors to expand our membership to their customers and plan to double our membership over the next five years to retain our position as the world’s largest bin cleaners association.
About the contributor
National Association of Wheeled Bin Washers (NAWBW)