Technically, a container in which trash made of recyclable materials is placed to separate it from other garbage.

Borrowed by Microsoft as the name of the place in recent version of Windows where deleted files go, so that they can be later recovered, or completely deleted.

I think it was fairly ripped from Macintosh's trash can. I think the analogy is pretty obvious following the "desktop" theme, Microsoft should have just used a trash can as well...

I thought at first anyway.
You toss stuff in a trash can, if you want you can dig through and get it out before its emptied. There is no recycling truck that comes and empties your Windows recycle bin and recycles the materials within.

Well...then again, it is recycled. When you empty the recycle bin you free up those bytes for re-use by other data. The files aren't just tossed in a landfill somewhere to poison the earth.

So maybe recycle bin is the best analogy. Prepare to soft link "who gives a shit"

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