Monday, 27 July 2015

Welcome to the World of Tag Rugby

Part 1: Far from trash-talk and a load of rubbish, the hot conversation topic at the office for the last two months has been Volkswagen Tag Rugby at Galway Corinthians

I’ve kindly declined offers to don togs and tags (for as much their sake as my own), but Friday morning banter was such that I felt I had to wander down and see what all the fuss was about. On arrival at Corinthians on Galway’s N17 Tuam Road, the sheer volume of people had me wondering whether or not this was a World Cup final rather than recreational midweek rugby. After all, like our own crew most of these people had already clocked a hard day’s work. Why on earth would anyone want to top that off with 40 minutes swearing and sweating with the same people? There were 80 teams in total, each with a clutch of supporters and family members cheering them on. There were food stalls with burgers, ribs and chicken; licensed bar facilities; and trained medical professionals on-hand for any injuries. The buzz about the place would have rivalled the Galway Races.

Matches were well on their way when I landed and The City Bin Co. were resplendent in red, decked out in matching kit, and sporting signature 'The Flying Bin' logo front and back. I sought Google’s assistance for some Tag Rugby understanding beforehand, and discovered: Tag Rugby [was] a non-contact team game in which each player wears a belt with two Velcro tags, or shorts with Velcro patches. Basic rugby rules apply but instead of tackling, a tag must be removed in order to halt the opposition advance.  

After two 20-minute halves our guys were buzzing and while slightly redder in face than at kickoff time, smiles hadn’t faded in the least.

The evening activity removed the team from the day-to-day setting and, while comprising the same team-mates, yielded a different team dynamic altogether. Tag encouraged team-building, good fitness, and fun. Winning didn’t matter, participation did… although victory always sweetens the encounter.

Monday, 22 June 2015

When Rubbish Becomes Art

Could you imagine relaxing in seven days of your own Rubbish? That is just what Gregg Segal’s Californian neighbours, friends and strangers did! They rested in piles of their own rubbish that they collected over a period of seven days for Gregg’s photography series entitled ‘7 days of Garbage’. Fitting that this series of life size portraits now cloak the walls of The City Bin Co.’s offices, both in Dublin and the HQ in Galway.

Segal’s photography makes you sit up and think because the content seems so contradictory. The small volume of waste becomes big over time. The ugliness of the waste collected becomes striking in the composition. You see the unnatural materials against the natural human body. The rubbish becomes art.

The photographs are a visual index of the waste that humankind produces over time, diet patterns and packaging volumes. The now world famous collection of photos that document the pure volume of waste collected by individuals and families drape the walls of The City Bin Co. who  collect the waste produced. The images were headlined in some news outlets as shocking. We believe they are inspiring and thought provoking. The photos deliver real statistics with a visual impact.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

And The Bank Mistakenly Put €18,000 Into A Bin Bag...

In the age of viral tweets and lightning fast newsfeeds, I often wonder how modern technology would have impacted on stories before the advent of social media? The same stories now would yield interesting results. 

At a recent summit on the Future of Banking, The City Bin Co.’s social media guy, Oisin Browne told one of his favourites from way back when working on the back of the bin truck. 

They say there’s money in rubbish! There certainly was one July Friday back in 2004. While servicing Galway’s commercial sector, they picked up from an anonymous bank a little earlier than usual. Shortly after they clocked off for the day the phone rang and said some money had been thrown out by accident. It transpired the bank had mistakenly put €18,000 into a bin bag which had already been collected. Within no time The City Bin Co. super staff began a frantic four-hour search rooting through the rubbish before they found the large sum of money neatly tied into cash bundles.

Their efforts paid off, and the money was found and returned to the bank. To this day the finer points remain a mystery. The nameless bank remained tight-lipped about the embarrassing slip, and the branch manager claimed “human error”. Conspiracy theories abounded about a botched up inside job!

It is not the first time The City Bin Co. has had to mount an emergency operation to recover valuable goods. Three years earlier a precious set of Claddagh rings especially commissioned and worth €6,000 was saved several minutes before they were to be compacted.

Twitter could have communicated the news of the missing rings faster to the company then the string of phone calls, headaches and panic attacks. In both cases there was a positive result and both stories became news items.

Although each story made headlines, Oisin believes there’d have been completely different reactions if they happened today. Twitter would have equipped each story with legs and they’d have snowballed within a quarter of an hour. The ring saga would have gone viral and created a goodnews buzz for all affected parties. Social media has moved the power from the journalist to the public and from the companies’ to the customers. Nowadays stories are tweeted in real time and the public decide what’s worth tweeting and reposting.  The bank involved in the missing money drama would have been better served owning the story from the outset, tweeting the “human error” element, and likely avoiding any runaway legs and conspiracy theories altogether. 

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Irish International Drops in With Six Nations Spoils

By Luke O'Donnell  

The City Bin Co.'s Oisin Browne with
Women’s captain Ruth O Reilly 
Connacht Women’s captain and Irish loosehead Ruth O Reilly landed at The City Bin Co. yesterday with the spoils of this year’s Six Nations Campaign. Ruth, who plays her club rugby for Galwegians in the All-Ireland League’s first division, started all five test fixtures this year replacing outgoing 2014 squad captain Fiona Coughlan in the front row. The Irish Women’s team’s cup winning efforts mirrored both the senior men’s and Under 20 Six Nations efforts in a rare clean sweep for rugby in the Republic. Dropping one game (to France), Ireland held firm in all others including a victory over World Champions England to set themselves up for a score-sensitive final fixture against Scotland in Glasgow. Ruth and her colleagues put paid to any Scottish threat posting their first points on the seven-minute mark and all but ensured match and championship victory 21minutes in. Ireland continued to pile on the points through to full-time and the 73-3 final score ensured Ireland finished well clear of both France and England on points differential by mid afternoon, Sunday March 22.

Ruth did the rounds at City Bin Co. HQ yesterday with the RBS Six Nations trophy, discussing facets of the campaign and post-competition public relations tour with several accounts, management and callcentre staff. The City Bin Co. was Connacht Women’s rugby’s foremost corporate sponsor last year.

The City Bin Co.’s Deirdre Moran had to endure jibes from son Dara (8) who’d posed with the trophy over the weekend. Mrs Moran went one up on Junior yesterday however cradling the coveted cup in her lap and comparing notes with Irish rugby royalty free from queues and madding crowds. While international commitments won’t likely resume until Christmas, Ruth begins off-season international conditioning this week and Connacht interprovincial training in early May. The City Bin Co. of course goes full-steam ahead all year round…

Monday, 13 April 2015

3 Things You Didn't Know About Bin-men!

By Guest Blogger Erika King

NUI Student Erika King went with The City Bin Co.'s  team to learn what these early risers do! Here's what Erika learnt  on the frontline with the Bin-men:

Every day, the bin men tirelessly whisk away the rubbish we have set outside.  Chances are, you haven’t given much thought to what happens to your rubbish after it leaves your bin.  Although we all know bin-men do this great service for us, many of us may not know much else.  Wanting to know more about the day-to-day of a bin men’s work,  I decided to spend a day following them around.  Donning a bright yellow high-visibility vest and a camera, I spent a cloudy Tuesday morning in the cab of rubbish trucks.  Here are the top 3 things I was surprised to learn:

1.     Rubbish collection is highly systematised

Each driver has a planned collection route to follow.  And, for efficiency, one truck handles the rubbish of a route while another is dedicated to collecting the recycling.  The commercial trucks have a special communication system that notifies them of any businesses who require special stops.  A typical truck has one driver and at least one collector.  The driver keeps the vehicle moving, while the collector quickly, and I mean quickly, gathers all the refuse and throws it into the truck. These guys are super fit!

2.     The bin-men work together

Rubbish collection is a fast-paced and tough job.  The bin-men on a given truck have to cooperate to get the job done quickly and safely.  They  are working with a large and dangerous machine, the truck, so they have to be careful.  Communication and trust is key to successfully getting the job done.  As one bin-man told me, “A good team makes all the difference.”  They have to know each other’s work pace and rhythm to function as a team.  The teams tend not to fluctuate; a driver tends to work with the same collector. This means bin-men quickly become familiar with each other’s habits. These guys are super at teamwork!

3.     Recycle, recycle, recycle!

I am happy to report that recycling habits have improved!  According to the commercial truck driver, recycling has steadily increased.  Not only that, but they find fewer and fewer contaminated bags and bins.  By this, I mean that they find less non-recyclables mingling with the recyclables.  This is good news!  It means less material is ending up in the landfill! The bin-men are super happy because Dublin and Galway are super at recycling!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015


When you get into spring-cleaning mode you organise more then your home.  By learning to let go of unwanted items in your home you create an opportunity to make space for something new.

1. Gets you organised and focused - Putting on the gloves and clearing out the unused and unwanted items in your home, garden and shed helps to get super organised. When our living environment is more orderly we tend to be more focused which allows us to make better decisions on everything.

2. Gets you in shape - If losing weight and getting fit is on your agenda, a deep spring-cleaning will certainly start the ball rolling. All that lifting will get the right muscles moving. Spring cleaning is not just a chore, it’s a commitment to an end goal and cleaning  out the mess in your life. As a plus you will be actively exercising as you do so. If you really find that you love it, you can always volunteer to tidy up the neigbour’s home! Put your safety first. Be sure to always ask for help moving big or heavy items or climbing up ladders.

3. Makes you Happy and Healthy! - The act of cleaning is considered by many experts to be therapeutic and relaxing.  Life’s little negativities and stresses can become nonexistent while spring-cleaning. What may appear to be a chore is actually a great stress reliever. Put a smile on your face today and hire a skip! J

Friday, 12 December 2014

The 5 Ts: Can Rugby Teach You About Customer Service?

By Luke O’Donnell, one of our in-house customer centre superheroes on what rugby and  customer service have in common.
Rugby demands many things, some of which prove costly (teeth, crooked noses and fancy boots for example), but discipline and dedication are among its more admirable traits. In this respect rugby reflects successful business, and discipline and dedication are crucial to both the oval ball and world class customer service alike. Here are our five Ts comprising the star qualities common to both; be it headgear or headset.

Training is integral to establishing a robust workplace structure and inspiring customer confidence. Customers finance the business, they’re important. They shouldn’t be passed about like a pig’s bladder from one person to the next. Adequate training (and ongoing development) gets everybody up to speed and able to tackle whatever comes their way.

Teamwork is a no-brainer. Whether it’s rookies getting up to speed learning from experienced colleagues, or interaction between management and staff, teamwork promotes support and strength.

Trust. Good operations stand and fall on their ability to depend on systems and the people entrusted to make them work. Trust your team to catch the ball, bank on them tackling their player, and slap each other on the back for a job well done. Likewise the customer has to trust the product, depend on the service, and presume it will continue without hiccup.

Tenacity, because let’s face it, there’ll be hurdles, there’ll be glitches, and contingency will conspire against you. Tenacity empowers you to dust yourself off, take on water and get straight back into the action. How a business bounces back from adversity says as much for its history as its future. A business which has ignored or avoided problems in the past rather than acknowledging and fixing them immediately, is one fast running out of a future altogether.

Talk. The Wright Brothers didn’t invent the stealth bomber and Thomas Edison can’t claim floodlights, but each had a hand in the finished product. Take stock and test your products, discuss your theories and don’t be afraid to TWEAK them. Even the very good, can probably get better.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014


True to it’s word, The City Bin Co. recently rolled out the first of several new routes across the capital this week. Finglas is the first area in Dublin with a new opportunity to see The City Bin Co.’s progressive, reliable and affordable service.
The feedback at the end of day two has exceeded company expectations. Over 40,000 homes have signed up to The City Bin Co. since they entered the Dublin City Council area. “We add a layer of professionalism and a service ethos to a tired and stale industry”, said CEO Gene Browne, “We’ve had great feedback and encouragement throughout Dublin since we arrived. The sudden burst of activity from Finglas suggests the hunger for competition and great service is still alive and well. It’s been very heartening, and very busy.” Having committed elsewhere beyond Finglas and the existing collection catchment, Mr. Browne said the Finglas response bode well for the next few months. “It certainly adds to the Christmas spirit and it’s always great to welcome more Dubliners to The City Bin CO. fold. It’s a greet feeling to be welcomes so warmly into Finglas by householders.” For those wishing to check if The City Bin Co. is servicing their address, key in your street or estate name go to