I understand why the word "recycle" is used. I want to know why it is called a "bin". Does "bin" mean "Binary" ? or does it mean Trash ???

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    Definition of bin (Entry 1 of 3) 1: a box, frame, crib, or enclosed place used for storage 2 chiefly British : a can for trash or garbage : DUSTBIN
    – Big_Chair
    Nov 21, 2019 at 12:55
  • "I understand why the word "recycle" is used" Being somewhat contrary, I'd be more likely to question "recycle"... To me, recycling is about reusing something that's been discarded (or its component parts) in new products; it conjures up images of little elves breaking your old documents into words and letters, and putting them on shelves ready for use in your next document (I know, I should see someone!). To me, it would be better called a "Recovery bin", as it allows you to recover – intact – accidentally discarded documents.
    – TripeHound
    Nov 27, 2019 at 16:23
  • @TripeHound Good point. But think the "recycle" part came up not because of what happens to the actual files but because of the space. Once emptied, the space that the files in the bin was hogging can be recycled and can be used by other files Nov 28, 2019 at 8:54
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is not a User Experience question it is an english language / etymology one.
    – JonW
    Nov 28, 2019 at 9:53
  • @TripeHound if you've got to recover a letter you mistakenly threw away, better to get it out of the paper-recycling bin than the one with the food scraps and used tissues!
    – Chris H
    Nov 29, 2019 at 9:13

2 Answers 2


The definition of bin is

a receptacle in which to deposit rubbish.

So, yeah. It means a place for your trash that can be recycled/retrieved.

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    In less politically correct times ( the 1980s ) I think it was called 'Trash' on a Mac
    – PhillipW
    Nov 21, 2019 at 11:02
  • @PhillipW it's "rubbish bin" on my Linux system, but the underlying folder is called .Trash-1000
    – Chris H
    Nov 29, 2019 at 9:14

It's called a bin in the UK. I guess the US just brought the word over.

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