If you’re like me and use Shift + Del to permanently delete files, then Recycle Bin icon is of not much use…  If you’d like to remove it from the desktop, open registry (Start -> Run  -> regedit), navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVersion -> Explorer -> Desktop -> NameSpace, and either rename (if you think you might want to restore it in the future) or delete key {645FF040-5081-101b-9F08-00AA002F954E}.   Reboot required.