What takes years and costs $20k? A San Francisco Trash Can

This is a pretty terrible article with a clickbait title… but hey, industrial design in the news :newspaper:

What takes years and costs $20K? A San Francisco trash can

Yeah, I found that article totally irritating. It keeps referring to the cost of the prototypes (the clickbait component) while glossing over the specified max cost of the production pieces which at 2k seems a lot, but is 5-10x cheaper than the prototypes. Grrr. Grumble. Kids on my lawn.

At least they’re not pointing out the full comission fee. 20k is a bargain really.

I dont’t get it thou. They’re trying to solve the problem of trash cans getting full with a different trash can? And one of the solutions they tried earlier was to reduce the amount of cans?? Maybe try adding more and empty them more often??? Perhaps Lyft-drivers can collect trash.

I would also embrace the graffiti issue. It’s gonna get tagged no matter the surface. Make it into a legal canvas and you will have a street art gallery combined with freshly painted cans and 0 cleaning cost.

And it was an AP story too! What a missed opportunity to tell the actually story. Tell us something about the designs and how they are supposed to solve the problem. How does it differ from the 2 off the shelf solutions being considered? Etc.

Governments laaaazyyyy answers seem to be about the same, worldwide.

After a “refurbish” of the woods south of my home the trashcans disappeared, magically.

argument 1: litter cans attract litter. less trashcans = less trash
argument 2: the woods are not public territory.

The first argument seemed to hold some value as the amount of trash on pathways through the woods went down after the renovation for some time.
Sadly it sprung up, significantly,- after the old guy had died, who quietly cleaned up everyones mess every morning at sunrise…

The second argument did not hold much value,either, as there was (and still ist) a big sandstone mural (covered in mud), that celebrates the donation of said forest to the city. (Donated in 1872 was “landscaped parkland”.) :wink:

In some civilian guerilla tactic we neighbours reinstalled 2 of the trashcans on the main summit and directed city workers towards them. Now for some weeks there are regular trecks of little orange carts cleaning up the pathways, again. Lol.

My spouse despises of Germany being so dirty and run down. Spain is much more clean and gleaming. Well it sort of is. The rather mundane port town, where she chose to live, at least. But they take a 10% local tax on property. (Which they can.)

I bet San Francisco is not shy on taxes, so they should be able to solve the litter problem.

P.S. : in Spain the trash in high density areas is hidden out of sight in sizeable caverns beneath the surface.

Was this the competition from a few years back? If so, I remember reading about it. Vandalism proof, rodent proof, should be able to drain liquids, should have a lid, should be easy to service, should be easy to see from far how full it is…
Sounds like they tried to solve the problem by re-designing a trash can. Maybe they should have had a competition for companies to analyze the problem and offer solutions that are not just a trash can. I wonder if anybody interviewed the people that actually service the cans; I bet you they would have some great ideas on how to make their job easier/better/faster. Or maybe hire more trash collectors to service the cans more often.
But hey, you always get more (positive) press when you sponsor a competition and XYZ design company won. Often times, by the time you get to make the product and realize it’s not a good solution everybody has forgotten about it.
And really, QR codes to fill out questionnaires? Gather random data and tweak as needed.

Trash cans are big $$$ and I imagine ever city has issues with. So many concerns from universal usability to weather, vandalism, security, etc.

We had a problem with new ones designed here in Toronto a while ago. They seemed smart in design to have a foot pedal, but usually you find the pedal broken. I can’t remember how much the city contract was to supply and install (not design) these, but probably millions.


ah, the foot pedal is such a nice idea… but yah, I can’t imagine that lasting long in public use.

Check out this solution for residential trash collecting in general.