Your uni experience is nothing without a bin party

They’re messy and they’re trashy, just like you

First and foremost, what is a bin? It’s something like Lancaster’s answer to jungle juice – cheaper, nastier yet ultimately more fulfilling. Just like us.

A fine base, and about a fiver each

A fine base, and cost about a fiver each

You start with a base – usually about two bottles of spirit, two to three bottles of wine/Lambrinis (for alcoholic padding) and about four bottles of soft drink. That would obviously be cost-prohibitive for any one man, so it’s customary to ask guests to chip in a few quid each, with the unwritten expectation that the other people living at the venue will chuck in more in exchange for being excused from pouring any in later.

With the bin set up, and surrounded by cheap plastic cups (and, if you’re feeling extra fancy, with a ladle sticking out), you’re ready to welcome your guests. In each of their hands will be some sort of alcohol: half-full bottles of vodka, cans of cider, bottles of rosé – you name it, it’ll turn up. Don’t make the rookie mistake of pouring everything in as it arrives. Be sensible, keep bottles back for later and your bin will last for hours and remain delicious for most of that.

Now, the phrase ‘bin party’ conjures up all manner of mental images. “A trashy way of getting drunk”, says one student, “Cost-effective”, says another, “Full of god-knows-what” chimes in a third.

A bin can be all of these things and more. Any Tom, Dick and Harry can put on a bin, maybe even a good bin – it takes a deft hand to put on a truly great bin.

Thankfully, I am here to teach you the ways of true binmanship. My qualifications, you ask? As Media & Comms and co-founder of Lancaster’s BinSoc LUBINS, I like to think I know what I’m talking about here.

Get the right vessel

Feel free to decorate your bin to create a strong personal investment

Feel free to decorate your bin to create a strong personal investment

There is some leniency here—we were using a massive flowerpot lined with binbags at one point—but the absolute crème de la crème is one of these 73 L (there’s a 40l version too) squidgy gardening buckets from B&Q. It holds a plentiful amount of bin, is squidgy, which allows easy transport to other venues, and will only set you back a tenner.

And no, I’ve never seen anyone use an actual bin, nor do I expect to.

Know your meat from your mixer

As per article 1.1 of the LUBINS Binstitution, “Bin is assumed to refer to a large container into which a variety of drinks, alcoholic (the ‘meat’ of the bin) and non-alcoholic (the ‘mixer’ of the bin), are added to create a flavoursome medley”. This does not mean that you can just chuck in any old drink willy-nilly – this kills the delicate flavour balance of the bin. You should exercise discretion with what you put in the bin, and what you allow others to put in.

Whilst you’re obviously welcome to experiment with your own bin recipes, the easiest and most common bins are of the tropical variety. Here are a few quick examples of good and bad meats and mixers – can you work out why?

GOOD MIXER: Orange juice, Fanta Fruit Twist, Levi Roots Caribbean Crush

GOOD MEAT: Vodka, Rum, wine

BAD MIXER: Coke, Dr Pepper, Innocent Smoothie (honestly, someone once thought that would be a good idea)

BAD MEAT: Whiskey, beer, chili ANYTHING (honestly, again)

Guard your bin as you would a child

Having rules on what will and won’t go into a bin is one thing, enforcing them is another. Article 4.1.e lays out the role of the Guardian of the Bin. At it’s most extreme, this would entail having someone on sober duty and standing vigil over the bin. In reality, that would be shit and so doesn’t happen. As long as you have a few people you trust to be enthusiastic about bin curation present, the maternal pressure of bin care can be evenly distributed and you can all get heavily binned without causing a problem. Just keep someone around the general bin area, because some cunt will come and think it’s funny to put coffee in the bin or stumble over to it to throw up or something.

Have no shame

Close your eyes and think of England

Close your eyes and think of England

You’re drinking from something called a bin. C’mon.

Managing the taste is a fine art

Your initial bin should have limited kick and a lot of flavour. When people arrive (relatively) sober, this is the taste that will linger in their minds. It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t taste strong – you saw how much alcohol you put in. As people arrive and bring their own alcohol, but no mixer, the taste will deteriorate. This is why you make sure not to blow all your mixer right at the beginning.

For the first couple hours, top up with mixer every 10 guests or 30 minutes, whichever comes first. Then by the time you run out mixer everyone’s arrived and is starting to feel the bin. As the taste worsens, nobody is in any fit state to taste anything at all. People will just remember the good taste from earlier, and your job is done.

Enjoy your leftovers over the next few days


All the mixer means that your horrible concoction will freeze. If you don’t finish it all by the time you all go out, why not stick it in the freezer and attack it with cutlery every now and then for the next few days? There’s nothing quite like getting drunk and brainfreezed, as the icy coldness will numb your taste receptors, helping the bin go down a treat.

Set up a BinSoc

We'd been at the bin during hustings

We’d been at the bin during hustings

So you’ve found a group of likeminded binpersons and binmanship enthusiasts – now what? It’s obvious: start a BinSoc chapter. It all started in Lancaster, but the movement has spread both intervarsity (with the Mancunian MUBINS, Nottinghamian NUBINS and Cumbrian CUMBINS) and internationally (with Oregon State’s OSUBINS).

Join up and slap a respected seal of approval on bins, doing your bit to up the standards all across your campus.