Gucci garbage: San Francisco approves $20K designer trash cans

San Francisco Public Works
The "Slim Silhouette" designed trash can as part of San Francisco's new pilot program. Photo credit San Francisco Public Works

San Francisco is hoping to replace the long despised green trash cans littered throughout the city, as a Board of Supervisors committee voted Wednesday to approve using new designer prototype bins.

However, there’s a catch: Each new can will cost between $12,000 and $20,000, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

"$20,000 a can is ridiculous," Supervisor Matt Haney told the paper after reluctantly agreeing to the proposal.

The pilot program involves 15 newly designed trash cans that will be placed throughout San Francisco from November, 2021 to January, 2022. After that, San Francisco Public Works hopes to mass produce the new bins, which should cheapen the cost, the Chronicle said.

There are three different newly designed "smart" cans used in the program called the following: "Salt and Pepper", "Slim Silhouette" and "Soft Square."

San Francisco Public Works
Slim Silhouette design. Photo credit San Francisco Public Works
San Francisco Public Works
Salt and Pepper design. Photo credit San Francisco Public Works
San Francisco Public Works
Soft Square design. Photo credit San Francisco Public Works

They were designed to complement the design of "the new JCDecaux public toilets" located throughout the city and they are "outfitted with sensors that send alerts when they’re nearing capacity so they can be emptied before they overflow," San Francisco Public Works said in a release last year.

The old green bins have long been loathed by many San Franciscans for how easily they overflow onto the streets. They also have become an easy target for looting due to their easily broken locks, as scavengers "rummage through them and leave behind a mess."

Public Works is asking to approve spending $537,000 from $840,000 on reserve for the project, most of which is due to the design cost of the new bins. The agency said they had to use new models rather than existing designs from other cities because those bins are either too wide for San Francisco streets or have large openings people can reach through.

The city will also try a few previously designed models from other cities as part of the pilot program.

"Our streets and our sidewalks are a mess and the cans we have out there now are actually part of the problem," Haney said. "At this point they’ve already come up with designs, we won’t save time now to go backwards, but it’s really frustrating that they chose this route."

Featured Image Photo Credit: San Francisco Public Works