The spin on monster garbage bins

Only a few days left to complete the public survey of the monster garbage bins. If you are unfamiliar with this subject go to this site to find out more. Then come back and read the silliness below.

In a press release today by EUCAN — creators of the monster garbage can — the company tries to spin the Megabin as an agent of energy savings. This contention is flawed, if not dishonest.

The release identifies the project’s environmental benefits: six bins have solar panels to supplement the grid-supplied power used by the Megabin’s illuminated advertisements. EUCAN misleadingly compares the Megabin’s energy consumption (96 watts) to that of bus shelter advertisements (250 watts). According to EUCAN’s release, “This represents a 55 per cent reduction in energy consumption.”

EUCAN may have forgotten that the garbage cans they wish to replace with Megabins actually use no power. What EUCAN should be reporting is 82 illuminated Megabins currently on Toronto’s streets, as part of the pilot project, have succeeded in increasing the load on our electricity grid by 36,000 kWh per year.

Also today, City councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker put out his own press release — coincidentally, we assume — asking the City to request 1,000 more of the Megabins with solar panels (on top of the 1,500 regularly powered bins already under consideration). “The bottom line for me is the environment,” says De Baeremaeker in his release. Yet, in 2004, the green councillor rejected City staff recommendations which asked the Works Committee to consider the purchase of 1,500 of the smaller, ad-free and non-illuminated bins. Mr. De Baeremaeker still sits on the Works Committee which will decide whether or not to recommend the project to council.