Upcycled Bin: Designer Trash Cans In San Francisco Cost Up To $20,000 To Produce - The Scene

One man’s trash is San Francisco’s treasure.

San Francisco has invested over half a million dollars into its Public Trash Can Pilot project. Here, the city’s Public Works department placed prototypes of “next generation” public trash cans on the street for real-life testing.

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During a 60-day test period, the local government placed custom and off-the-shelf models in San Francisco neighborhoods. Community members had the opportunity to evaluate the cans and provide feedback on the final selection.

San Francisco will then use the information to choose a final design. Finally, it will develop a request for proposals to select the manufacturer for its new 3,000-plus public trash cans.

The three custom designs include Salt & Pepper, Slim Silhouette, and Soft Square. Meanwhile, the three off-the-shelf models are the BearSaver, Ren Bin, and the Open Wire Mesh.

Each prototype cost around $12,000 to $20,000 to produce. APROE in collaboration with Hirtchfield Fabricators assembled prototypes of the design finalists.

Five cans of each custom design and three to four cans of each off-the-shelf model combine for a total of 26 bins.

San Francisco distributed these in the first set of locations for 30 days between July 18 and August 18. It then transferred them to another from August 18 to September 17.

“San Francisco is a beautiful city and keeping it clean can be a challenge. Finding the right public trash can to serve our needs at a reasonable cost has driven this design process,” Acting Public Works Director Alaric Degrafinried said.

The Public Works department is among the largest and most complex municipal operations in San Francisco. It has a 1,600-member workforce, a $384-million annual operating budget, and an active capital project portfolio exceeding $3 billion.

Banner Photo by San Francisco Public Works via website.

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