Adless trash cans that collect nothing but garbage. What a concept!
The grey, no-frills plastic bins have been quietly popping up on street corners across the city, much to the delight of critics of Eucan's billboard-like MegaBins and SilverBoxes , those hogs of sidewalk space.
While the works committee recently voted to scrap Eucan's proposal to install more MegaBins (see related street furniture story, this page), the grey cans are a temporary fix. The city plans to replace 2,700 of the trash cans with SilverBoxes.
The city's manager of solid waste, Geoff Rathbone , says the SilverBoxes, which have a slot for recyclables, have a proven green track record.
More than 90 per cent of the stuff that goes in the recycling slot is recyclable material, although "we could reach a certain level of contamination in the recycling where it would no longer be processable and it becomes garbage."
The grey bins have no recyclables slot. Why not just set up two per location and designate one for recyclables?
The garish 2-metre high MegaBins tend to accumulate more recyclables in the trash compartment (and vice versa), and one problem with SilverBoxes is the common sight of dirty napkins and squished coffee cups jamming the slot for recyclables.
Rathbone says garbage in these boxes is emptied twice a week, or daily "where there's more pedestrian traffic." So why the pile-ups on main streets like Bloor and Queen West?
Dave Meslin of the Toronto Public Space Committee says the bin plan should be trashed, period. "We need to start from scratch, but it shouldn't take years to decide on a garbage can."
It may be too late to go back to basics. Eucan is talking about putting Wi-Fi equipment in SilverBoxes as a pilot project for Internet access at every downtown intersection - if, that is, the company is still under contract with the city.
Says Eucan's Kevin Golding , "Any way we can improve the city for people is where we want to be."