Should you tip your binman at Christmas?

“Tenner to the binmen and a fiver to the postie. Always tell them to get a round in with that”

They might complete a day’s work before you’ve even got out of bed – but when Christmas comes around is it polite to tip your binmen for their hard work?

Whether they’re employed directly by the council or contracted in through a private company, binmen collect the rubbish left outside your house week in, week out.

But when it comes to Christmas, lots of us are left wondering what the correct etiquette is around tipping refuse collectors.

While some people make a point of tipping every year, others don’t understand how or why you would hand over cash as a Christmas tip.

Instead of leaving a monetary tip, some people said they left mince pies or crates of beer for their binmen to get stuck into over the festive season.

Liverpool residents were asked about Christmas tips. One reader said: “Tenner to the binmen and a fiver to the postie [sic]. Always tell them to get a round in with that.”

Wendy Gooley said: “In an envelope to the driver of the wagon and say put it towards the Christmas night out.”

Ian Taylor said: “[We tip] £10 as we have a team of four who do ours and take items they shouldn’t. Have [run out to hand it to them] but also have sticky taped it to the inside lid of the bin.

“Ours come at 7am now so I usually catch them, but when we had day time collections it’s difficult!”

Small gifts also proved popular in lieu of a Christmas cash tip, with people saying they leave out boxes of chocolate or mine pies for their binmen.

Donna Winstanley said: “I used to always tip the binmen the postie [sic] and the milkman but now just give them a box of sweets.”

Julia Jones said: “I leave my binmen a packet of biscuits each week as a thank you and usually a packet of mince pies at Christmas.”

It seems like tipping the binman is fairly common practice on Merseyside – and it can make Christmas a very lucrative period for the city’s hard working refuse collectors.

One woman, who did not want to be named, said her husband worked as a binman around 15 years ago and would bring home hundreds of pounds in Christmas tips.

She said: “He used to get about £1,000 plus at Christmas, plus meat from the butchers, potatoes from the farmer – seriously some of the stories he tells me – madness!

“He said the rounds in the posh areas you always used to get the best tips. He said that there were six men on his round and they all used to get a grand each!”

However, some people said they don’t tip their binmen, either because they don’t see them or because they claim to have had issues with bin collections.

Marie Florian said: “Nope! Didn’t know this was a thing! There’s loads of them too, so who would you tip?! Mum always used to give the milkman a small glass of whiskey!”

One city centre resident said: “I don’t really see my bin men as I live in a city centre apartment block and we just take our rubbish down to bins as and when – I don’t even know what day they get collected!”