Sep 13, 2022 - News

San Francisco's new trash cans are trash

Trash can
The "Soft Square" trash can has the worst reviews so far. Photo: Megan Rose Dickey/Axios

Early trash can survey data shows San Franciscans prefer two prototype bins out of the six models the city is testing.

Yes, but: All of the cans received more negative than positive feedback, Mission Local reports.

Details: The "Salt & Pepper" and "Slim Silhouette" receptacles lead the pack. About 30% of survey respondents said they "love" those two cans.

  • The prototype "Soft Square" bin has performed the worst so far, with the majority of respondents saying they are "not at all impressed."
  • The "BearSaver" model scored the highest among the off-the-shelf bins, with more than 20% of respondents saying they "love it."

State of play: The city is testing three custom cans and three off-the-shelf cans to determine which should replace those green containers which have been on city sidewalks since 1993.

  • The city began working to replace the old receptacles a little over three years ago, a process that cost $550,000, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
  • The prototypes have price tags between $11,000 and $21,000. If the city decides to mass produce them, each would run between $2,000 and $3,000.

What they're saying: "In broad strokes, San Franciscans seem to like the look and materials of the prototypes, but some people have found their openings too small and are dubious about durability," Mission Local's Will Jarrett writes.

The survey responses, however, "do not tell a complete picture of the feedback" Public Works has received, the department's custodian of records David Steinberg said.

  • The city will also use 311 data and feedback from Public Works staff to determine the best bins to move forward with.

What's next: Residents can submit feedback through Sept. 23. You can find the bins sprinkled throughout the city on this handy map.

  • Public Works will review all feedback and pick a final design for new trash cans to deploy. Then, the agency just needs to pick a manufacturer to make the cans.
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