NEW YORK — Though waste receptacle culture here in New York City regularly makes me hearken back longingly for Toronto’s more progressive (if often overflowing, monster-sized and ad-laden) street-level trash can offerings, there’s a new kid in town — specifically the BigBelly Solar Compactor. (Don’t miss that link for a super-cute animation of an anthropomorphic solar-powered trash compactor gleefully feeding garbage to itself!)
Spotted at the northwest corner of Union Square, this crazy mofo boasts a US-Mail-style trash door and a solar-powered lid. Charge-level indicators blink with modernity at the front of the bin.
Though the BigBelly doesn’t offer recycling potential, its ability to compress trash to 20% of its original size on its own self-powered steam is reasonably exciting, or at least it is if trash cans get you off. A tip of the hat goes to the design team for adding the classic “Pitch In” trash can logo, and a tip of the hat to NYC for not selling ad space on the front panel — at least not yet.
The Union Square Partnership might be a little waste-receptacle-commitment-phobic, however. A few short strides away from the BigBelly is this old classic workhorse:
And another few feet to the south on a mini traffic island lies this enigmatic array of rarely-seen aluminum and paper recycling bins:
Clearly we still have a long way to go — but it’s an interesting little beginning.