I tend to run a super tight ship on my desktop. No icons whatsoever. When I first started using Windows 7, the recycle bin was a thorn in my side. Vista let me right click and delete the entry but Windows 7 denied me that.
As I figured out earlier, the functionality is still present — just behind a couple of clicks. Right click on the desktop, choose Personalize and then Change Desktop Icons on the left side pane.
Uncheck the relevant entry and off the bin goes!