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A Guide to Cigarette Bins

Having a designated outdoor smoking area for employees or visitors who smoke, use e-cigarettes, or vape is considerate, but what is the best solution to avoid having the space constantly littered with cigarette butts?

Installing cigarette bins can help you to solve this problem – so smokers can de-stress while your business maintains a clean and hygienic look.

Keep reading our comprehensive guide to learn more about choosing the correct cigarette bin for your workplace.

Cigarette bin

Where should I set up the designated smoking area?

Most places that install a smoking area – including bars, clubs, warehouses and restaurants – do so away from the main entrance. This is to prevent any second-hand smoke from being inhaled by anyone passing by.

Setting up the area at least 1.5 metres away from sheltering walls or other structures is also essential. Any closer and you may risk the site becoming enclosed or substantially enclosed due to improper airflow or smoke progressing indoors through open windows. This could cause legal problems (see below for more on this).

Which type of cigarette bin is right for my business?

With so many different cigarette bins to choose from, you need to consider how much the area will be used.

If you know that your smoking area will be used a lot, an ashtray may be the best option. Ashtrays are also ideal if you are tight on space, as some designs can be wall mounted. Please look at our Wall-Mounted Metal Ashtray / Cigarette Bin, which features a sloped top to prevent rain from pooling.

Or, if you prefer a floor-standing option with a higher aesthetic appeal, our Free-Standing Cigarette Bin - Flat Top may take your fancy. These cigarette bins provide a clean and safe way of disposing cigarette butts and are made from stainless steel for durability.

You could also decide to tackle cigarette waste and general waste at the same time by installing a litter bin that is fitted with an ashtray top. Examples include this Basic Metal Cigarette and Litter Bin, which is sure to keep your workplace's outdoor space neat and mess-free.

Whichever cigarette bin style you choose, ensure that you select ones with a small opening and narrow design. This prevents excess oxygen from getting inside, so cigarette butts extinguish quickly, reducing the risk of fire.

Cigarette bin

How can I keep the cigarette bin clean and safe?

Whether you choose a free-standing or a wall-mounted cigarette bin, they are all straightforward to install and can be fixed into place to prevent any tampering.

But, as with any kind of bin, it will need emptying and cleaning after a while. Leaving cigarette bins full for long periods can result in an antisocial and unhygienic look, and the smell of stale smoke and ash will become unbearable.

To avoid this, make sure that the bins are emptied regularly.

Cigarette bins can also be disinfected using suitable cleaning agents, rinsing with water and leaving to dry before use to prevent any smells from building up.

 Are there any laws surrounding smoking areas?

Although there is no legal requirement to install an outdoor smoking area or shelter in your workplace, if many of your staff members are smokers, you may benefit from one.

If you decide to install a smoking shelter, you need to ensure that the area is not enclosed.

The Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006 state that at least 50% of the area must be open for people to be able to smoke there legally.

If walls or ceilings occupy more than 50% of the area, it is considered substantially enclosed, and therefore smoking becomes prohibited.

Smoke Free England also states that “any buildings or structures erected must be passed by the local council who will also give guidance on their suitability under the law.”

Final word

We hope that you have found this guide helpful when choosing the right cigarette bin for your business. They are a great way to keep your outdoor areas looking clean and professional while keeping any smokers in your workplace happy.

See our full range of Bins for Workplaces for more waste and recycling bins.

If you have questions about cigarette bins or any other product from our website, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and knowledgeable staff, who will be more than happy to help.


Richard O'Connor's Headshot

Richard O'Connor is a Director at First Mats. He has deep knowledge in areas like Manufacturing, Warehousing, Marine, and Health & Safety. Richard's insights have been featured in well-known publications such as Bloomberg Business, The Sun, and Reader's Digest. His blend of industry expertise and passion for sharing makes him a sought-after voice in his fields.

Contact Richard