A Buyer's Guide to Cigarette Bins and Outdoor Ashtrays

A Buyer's Guide to Cigarette Bins and Outdoor Ashtrays


Installing a cigarette bin in a popular smoking area is a simple and cost effective way to stamp out cigarette butt litter. Plus you’ll be doing something good for the environment.

Even though the number of smokers is falling, dropped cigarette filters continue to be the most common form of littering, according to Keep Britain Tidy’s Local Environment Quality Survey of England 2017/18.

Taking around 12 years to degrade, these filters leach plastic and thousands of chemical ingredients, including arsenic, lead and nicotine into the environment. 

Heavy Duty Cigarette Bin

Smokers often cite the lack of cigarette bins as a reason for littering, which means that it is simple to break the litter cycle with a carefully-placed cigarette bin.

But where to begin when choosing the best cigarette bin for your home or business, In this article, we look at the:

          • types of bins available,
          • ease of use,
          • safety,
          • maintenance
          • and strategic placing,

Any questions? Our expert team are happy to help, please get in touch



Types of Cigarette Bin

Once seen as no more than a bucket for butts and related cigarette litter, the humble cigarette bin has evolved into stylish outdoor furniture. There are four types:


Fastened by screws to the exterior wall of a buildings, modern styles of wall-bin are designed to be slim and compact, while still holding a large amount of cigarette litter. Available in a variety of colours and sizes, take a look at the Wall Mounted Cigarette Bin range

Free Standing

Square and cylinder ash tubes that rest on the ground, free standing cigarette bins offer a flexible litter solution because they can be moved between designated smoking areas. Alternatively and for added security, they can be bolted to the floor. Fixings supplied. Take a look at the Free Standing Cigarette Bin range

Combination litter and cigarette bin

A two in one solution, square and cylinder tubes that rest on the ground and include separate areas for litter and cigarette waste. Take a look at the Ash and Litter Bin range.

Advertising Bins

Wall-mounted and free standing bins that include display panels for advertising, policy statements and other public notices. Take a look at the Advertising Bins range.




Key features you should look for in a top quality cigarette bin

Easy disposal

A cigarette bin with clear slots to extinguish and dispose of cigarette butts is far more successful in reducing cigarette litter than difficult to use designs. The slots should be easy to see and to reach but small enough to prevent other types of rubbish being stuffed into them causing a potential fire hazard. Look out for designs with weather-proof hoods that keep cigarette waste dry in wet weather as this makes the bins easier to empty.

Stainless Steel Ash Tower

Safe Design:

Cigarette butts may be thrown in the bin before fully extinguished, which can lead to potential fire hazards in and around smoking areas. Quality cigarette bins have been engineered to significantly reduce this threat.

Fire has three contributing factors: heat, fuel and oxygen. Take one of these away and there will be no fire. Look for stub plates that have been designed to restrict oxygen within the bin, therefore preventing fire. Adding sand in outdoor ashtrays can also prevent fire.

As an added precaution, make sure rubbish is kept away from cigarette waste. Provide a rubbish bin nearby as a handy alternative, or purchase a combined litter and cigarette bin.

Internal linings

Regular emptying and keeping your cigarette bin free of litter ensures your smoking area is cleaner and safer. Choose a cigarette bin that has is light to tip out into a bin or recycling box. Internal liners are highly recommended and these make the task of emptying the cigarette bin a much quicker, more pleasant and ultimately a much safer experience. 

It is also helpful if you are part of a cigarette waste recycling programme.

Compact Ash Tower Cigarette Bin

Flexible solutions

If you’re looking for a little solution that is flexible enough to respond to changes in footfall, say you run events or large hospitality venues for example, then free standing cigarette bins your best option. Look out for cigarette bins that can be weighted in to place with sand - a quick, economical solution.


Free-standing and wall-mounted bins can easily be fitted in place. Bins-Direct.com include fixings will all our bins, as well as keys to prevent tampering.

Where should I install a cigarette bin?

Volume, capacity and upkeep

To choose the right bin for your designated smoking area, you must consider three factors:

  • Popularity of the designated smoking area - (low, medium or large capacity)
  • Frequency - will it be used at all times or limited breaks during the day (volume)
  • Maintenance - how regularly should it need to be cleaned and emptied? (upkeep)


BDW01c - Compact Ash Curve Cigarette Bin

For smaller outdoor smoking areas, wall-mounted cigarette bins are a good option as they sit flush with the wall at shoulder height. New, contemporary styles, like the Compact Ash Curve Cigarette Bin has a slimmer profile ensuring it sits cleanly against the wall. Note the slated stub plate which makes this bin easier to wipe clean, thus improving the overall look. 


For larger outdoor spaces, free-standing cigarette bins give you the flexibility to move bins according to anticipated use.


Alternatively, if there are set entrance and exit pathways within your outdoor space, base-mount them into a set position. Key features to look out for in quality free standing/base mounted cigarette bins:

  • Elegant safe-spacing designs;
  • Manufactured in robust, rust-resistant stainless steel, suitable for the UK climate;
  • Protective weather hoods to prevent ash and cigarette butts from being spread around.


Visibility and Convenience

The cleanest smoking areas combine clear signage with well-positioned, highly visible cigarette bins. Rust-resistant stainless steel bins are durable and their shine makes them easy to spot even on the darkest of days.  Colour can also be a way of encouraging smokers to dispose of their cigarette litter. Bright colours like red, and green work well.



The UK is beautiful but the weather can be challenging at times. If you live in an area that is particularly prone to wind and rain, look out for heavy-duty tapered cigarette bins which withstand the harshest gales and storms, and also stop the litter instead from becoming a sludgy mess.


Next steps?

Now that you have an idea of the type of cigarette bin you need, browse our cigarette bin range. For ease, we’ve divided them into free standing, wall mounted, ash and litter, as well as advertising cigarette bins.

Make sure you check out our Special Deals and don’t forget multi-buy deals are available on our entire range. You could save up to 20%.

If you’ve any questions, please email us or give us a call on 01360 440066.