Streetwise – A Purposeful
And Stylish Rubbish Bin

Stallion Plastics, located in Palmerston North, New Zealand, was approached by Streetwise Coffee Ltd., a coffee cart franchise company also located in New Zealand, to design a new rubbish bin and develop the tooling for its manufacture.

The rubbish bin would sit street-side beside Streetwise Coffee carts, located throughout New Zealand, and allow customers to dispose of their used cups. The new rubbish bin would not only be handy for customers. It would also provide great signage for the coffee cart. Thus an attractive-looking rubbish bin was most desirable.

Although Streetwise Coffee previously had a branded rubbish bin, it was not designed for this purpose, it was too light, and it would blow over in the wind, leading to numerous broken bins. They thought a new rotational moulded bin would provide a perfect solution due to the product’s sturdy nature and the process and polyethylene (LLDPE) supplied by Vanglobe. By utilizing rotational moulding to manufacture the bins the weight of the product could be adjusted. This was beneficial as it allowed Streetwise Coffee to optimise the product’s weight withstanding heavy winds. The requirements for the new bin were as follows:

  1. Resemble the company’s takeaway coffee cup, which includes the brand’s ‘S’ imagery.
  2. Function as a rubbish bin and accommodate the currently used bin liner.
  3. Have a similar size to the previous bin.
  4. Weigh enough to withstand wind gusts.

Graeme Harris, a business partner who bought into Streetwise Coffee in 2011 and stayed with the company until 2016, was the creator of the Streetwise Coffee rubbish bin. With a background in marketing and advertising and having owned and operated several advertising agencies in Wellington, Graeme’s idea for the bin was that several local councils in New Zealand would not allow a company to put signage on the footpath.

Yet almost all councils would allow a rubbish bin. So, Graeme turned this into an opportunity to increase the company’s exposure by creating a branded bin to do double-duty. This was one of several successful branding ideas Graeme has introduced.

Before Streetwise Coffee started with Graeme’s bin idea, the company had been purchasing cheap, off-the-shelf plastic bins and applying a graphic with the company’s S logo. The lid in those days was custom made from fiberglass. However, fiberglass is not a good material for this purpose as it chips and gets damaged quickly. Also, the ‘S’ graphic was difficult to apply to a fluted surface and easily damaged. They found the bins were cheap for a reason as they did not last very long nor wear very well, and they needed a lot of work from the time of purchasing a generic bin to creating a Streetwise Coffee bin.

The Solution


Since the company was utilizing a generic rubbish bin that the public could find off-the-shelf, they received criticism for the high cost of the finished bins. Several factors ‘ namely, the time required to produce the bins, the extra steps required such as applying the graphics, the fitted concrete weight, the matching custom-made lid ‘ made the whole process cost inefficient. When the fluted look of the off-the-shelf bin was discontinued, the company began looking for an alternative. At that point they came across Stallion Plastics. “We understood the initial set-up of moulds and possibly prototypes would be expensive and time-consuming. Yet after working with the resident designer, Julian Maggin, and the team at Stallion Plastics, the concept was about as near as we could have hoped for regarding the production of a perfect product ‘ robust design, good size, weight and quality, all at a realistic price.” Streetwise Coffee was first asked what type of tool they would like to use ‘ sheet metal or cast aluminium ‘ as this would affect the design constraints. Because the product was not only used as a rubbish bin, but also as street-side signage, they opted for the tool which would develop the best looking part. Maggin suggested using an aluminium cast mould as it would be easier to produce with the corrugated design of the bin. Contact us today to discuss your requirements. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.