New York Just Cans It

Most people in New York City have the impression that throwing loose trash on top of a pile of garbage bags means it will get to the dump, and that once at the dump it all magically decomposes to become one with the earth, Styrofoam* and all. Not quite what happens…

And the city itself isn’t doing too much to help this general lack of sanitary conditions. Below is what NYC thinks is an acceptable receptacle for outdoor trash in an urban environment.

The clever airholes successfully allow the slightest gust of wind to blow the lighter trash out onto the ground, allowing room for the remaining trash to quickly fill up the can to the point of not being useful anymore. And that “Keep New York Clean” slogan on the side (another variation is “Can It for a Greener Planet”) really seems to be working on the public’s psyche. Genius!

Said no one.

Philadelphia may not be able to beat us in baseball, but they sure know how to recognize a winning trash can design!

At (May ’09) press time:

The city is rolling out over 500 solar powered, compacting garbage cans. The bins can hold about eight times as much waste as a normal garbage can, and are estimated to save the city close to 12 million dollars over the next 10 years.

How come “the greatest city in the world” can’t get a handle on the waste it produces? Bloomy may preach green, but he needs to start from the (trash-covered) ground up. Seriously, in London you can’t even FIND a trash can, but you also won’t find any garbage on the street. I suspect those Brits must squirrel it away in their jumper pockets to use later at compost tea time.

Regardless – you need to do more than simply can it, New York, you need to compact and compost!

*There may be hope for Styrofoam yet.


NYC trash can photo from darthmojo
Solar powered trash can from PSFK


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