San Franciscans will be able to test new public trash can prototypes around the city for the next two months and offer feedback before the design is finalized, city officials announced this week.
The trash cans currently in use were designed more than two decades ago. San Francisco Public Works is working on a new generation of public trash cans to serve different street conditions, considerable population growth, and more visitors in San Francisco.
The prototypes being tested are meant to be tamper-proof, easy to service, accommodate recycling, have graffiti-resistant coating and built-in capacity alerts to prevent overflowing. Each prototype can be produced at scale for $2,000 to $3,000 apiece.
Six different design prototypes will be placed across the city in commercial corridors, busy intersections and at bus stops.
A total of 26 trash cans will be placed at locations for 30 days, and then moved to second locations for the next 30 days.
"This next generation of city trash cans will not only better serve our public trash needs at no additional cost, it will keep our sidewalks clean and continue to build on the City's innovative solutions for a cleaner, safer San Francisco," Mayor London Breed said in a statement.
Residents can see where trash can prototypes are placed at https://sfpublicworks.wixsite.com/trashcanpilot/can-locations and get detailed information about each prototype design with photos, videos, and a survey. The website and survey are available in five languages.
Each prototype will also have a QR code on its exterior for people to scan and fill out the online survey. Public Works will gather online comments and feedback from neighborhood meetings like farmers' markets and Sunday Streets.
After the 60-day testing period, Public Works will decide on a final design from the six prototypes. They will then select a manufacturer or supplier for San Francisco's more than 3,000 new public trash cans.
"Before we invest in over 3,000 public trash cans which we hope to last for years to come, we need to be sure they fit our specific San Francisco needs," Public Works interim director Carla Short said. "That's why soliciting public feedback is key in our design process. We are thrilled to be able to street-test these six models and be able to deeply understand their functionality and durability through the eyes of our community, our Public Works staff, who maintain the cans, and our waste collectors, who service the cans," Short said.
The prototype testing program is a partnership between San Francisco Public Works, Oakland-based industrial design firm Institute for Creative Integration, and San Francisco-based design and engineering firm APROE.
Public Works contracted with the Institute for Creative Integration to research successful trash can models. After approval from the San Francisco Arts Commission, APROE was brought in to develop construction drawings and create the trash can concepts.