I have absolutely no icons on my desktops and much prefer it this way.  The recycle bin was a problem, so I used to just tuck it away in  a corner.  I ran across the following tweak to remove the icon and since I use "Clean Up" to flush my temp and recycle bin files anyway,  I put it into action.
The removal proceedure for XP Pro worked the same when in Vista Ultimate.

Remove Recycle Bin
Posted 8/26/2002 by TweakXP Member <<<I wish I still had the link & the member's name............. sorry 'bout that.

If  using XP Pro
Go to START > RUN
Type GPEDIT.MSC

Navagate to USER CONFIGURATION >ADMINISTRATIVE TEMPLATES >Click on DESKTOP,
On the right hand pane find " Remove Recycle Bin icon on the desktop " , double left click on it to ENABLE it.
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If using XP Home

Either use TweakUI or make the change manually in the registry.

Back up the registry key before modifying it.
Create or modify the following registry entry

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel

{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}
REG_DWORD
0x00000001