waste paper bin

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waste paper bin
Security trash bin made of metal in a Berlin hotel

A paper basket is a garbage can that is typically set up in a professional, private work area or public traffic area and is intended exclusively or mainly for paper waste. While it used to consist mainly of wicker material , today there are paper baskets made of a wide variety of materials. In certain security areas, fire protection prescribes paper baskets made of fireproof material, some with a lid.

Information technology

An example icon for an empty trash can
An example icon for a non-empty recycle bin which, depending on the application, contains at least one file, email or other data.

Many graphic computer operating systems use the term recycle bin as a designation for a storage location at which files to be deleted are temporarily stored. This means that they have disappeared from the directories for the time being, but can be retrieved again, for example if they are accidentally deleted, similar to the real recycle bin. As with the real recycle bin, the contents must be emptied from time to time so that too much garbage does not accumulate on the hard drive, because files swapped out in the recycle bin still take up the same space on the hard drive. Some recycle bins only store a certain amount of data and automatically delete the oldest files when the limit is reached.

In the case of security-relevant computer workstations, a special trash can must be selected to delete files . This program is called Eraser or Shredder , it deletes the file in the directory and overwrites it several times. In the United States, government agencies require that a file be overwritten at least seven times to meet military and government standards.

The invention of the trash metaphor

The trash can symbol was invented as a GUI metaphor by Robert X. Cringely while working on the Apple Lisa . The trigger for his invention was the following incident: During his work he (accidentally) pressed a button and everything was deleted. So he turned to user support and asked for a backup copy of his data. Since there weren't any, he saw it as his job to protect users from themselves. His solution, the recycle bin, is based on a two-step concept: first you put something in the recycle bin and then you have to empty the recycle bin.

Shelf P

The designations filing P , filing around or round storage (Austrian. Also round folder ) are jocular euphemisms for "trash". They allude to actual filing systems for storing documents and simulate their classification in an [alphabetically] organized system.

Web links

Commons : Waste containers  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: trash can  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  1. ^ Search Engine Roundtable . November 15, 2005, Keynote: Robert X. Cringely ( online ) (English).