Finding the right trash can is surprisingly difficult, and Beth Rubenstein has spent a lot of time looking. As deputy director of policy and communications for the City of San Francisco’s Department of Public Works, she’s trying to find a good trash can to replace the city’s old list of more than 3,000 sidewalk garbage receptacles. But just no one can. To withstand the tough life of a city trash can—vandalism, rumination, repeated unloading, jammed holes, and rusted hinges—the ideal replacement will need to meet a number of requirements. Rubenstein realized that the ideal replacement did not exist. “We couldn’t find one off-the-shelf that could address all of those criteria,” she says.
So the city set out to devise a better solution. City’s contracted garbage haulers and industrial design firms in consultation with various city departments Institute for Creative Integrationthe city is unveiled Three prototype designs for a new city dustbin, They balance ease of use, ease of take off, durability of locks and hinges, and an integrated system to automatically detect when full. With an estimated per-production cost of between $2,000 and $3,000, the three prototypes could be as close to perfect as San Francisco.
Now, the city’s Public Works Department has just started a 60-day trial period field test 15 of these custom garbage bins, each of which has the same 32-gallon capacity as the existing garbage bins in the city. Some off-the-shelf options are also being evaluated, including a basic mesh-cage design that retails for $700 and a trash-compacting option that costs more than $3,000.
proposed dustbin cost have ranked someThose in particular noted that the price tag for producing one of the previously determined prototype models was $20,000. more than, Rubenstein says this would not be the final cost of mass production of the new cans, and that off-the-shelf options were included in the evaluation to give locals at least some cheaper alternatives. “The public needs to have proof that that money needs to be spent, which is completely understandable,” Rubenstein says.
The city is looking forward to gathering public feedback on their usefulness, design and waste collection prowess. In addition to the regular complaints and feedback the public already submits via email and the city’s 311 app, the pilot garbage bins also have QR codes that link to a detailed survey, which is available in five languages. “I think we’ll get a lot of feedback on how we’re doing down the road,” Rubenstein says.
However, the pilot project is much more than functionality. There are more than 3,000 city trash cans spread across San Francisco, and Rubenstein says they’re essentially part of the way the city presents itself to the public. “So they have to look good,” she says. “We have to make them fully functional, but they also have to be a visual asset on the road.”
Different from 15 concepts presented by designers at the Institute for Creative Integration, three new designs CCan be called almost smooth. Salt and Pepper, a slightly tapered cylinder, reminiscent of a diner salt shaker, with a ribbed steel fin around its circumference; a compact rectangular kiln for throwing garbage; And a round hole at the top for recycling. Then there’s the slim silhouette, an oval-like shape reminiscent of a deodorant stick, with a large round hole for the trash that slides down the can into the can to prevent rumination, and a smaller hole that covers the recycling area. leads to. The third design is named the Soft Square, for its four-sided shape, rounded top to prevent pile-up, and a mailbox-like hopper drawer that opens with either a handle or a foot pedal. Each design is equipped to handle rolling cans inside, making them easy to unload, and there’s room for sensors to monitor trash levels.
Off-the-shelf options include a traditional open-top mesh basket, a rectangular bin with two large openings on either side, and a sturdy box modeled after the bear-resistant garbage cans of national parks and campsites.
Rubenstein says the appraisal process can eliminate one design in favor of another, or lead to a new design that combines two or more elements. A very small hole in a design can dump items like a pizza box along. A very large hole can lead to rumour issues. A closed-drawer design can deter people who don’t want to touch the handle, while a foot-pedal mechanism can be harder to maintain over the lifespan of the can, which can be as long as 20 years. “We are working on the issues before they are mass-produced,” Rubenstein says.
He is hopeful that the public-engagement process will not only provide support to the public that could add up to a $9 million investment in thousands of garbage cans, but will also help create a waste design that better meets the needs of complex urban environments. complete with
“I don’t know of any other city that has done this so deeply,” Rubenstein says. “I’m guessing that the information we learn can be used by other municipalities.”
The first phase of the trial began on July 18 and the evaluation period ended in mid-September. Rubenstein says that after about a month of analyzing the data and making a public presentation, the department can draw up a selected design by the end of the year. San Francisco’s request for proposals for mass production of the next generation of dustbins will likely expire in 2023, and the new bins may not be on the ground not long after.