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‘It’s insane’: $20K prototype trash can discussed for San Francisco

Published: Jul. 24, 2021 at 1:49 AM CDT
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SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) - The city of San Francisco could spend $20,000 on a trash can.

It could be the first of thousands like it, but officials say others would cost less.

In the current cans around the city, trash goes in, but much too often comes out.

“They go looking for drugs. They go looking for things to recycle,” said resident Isaac Stevens. “In the neighborhood I live in, they bust them open. They pull things out, and sometimes they get too full.”

Sleeker designed bins with sensors alerting crews when they’re almost full will be more tamper-resistant, block rodents out and keep sidewalks cleaner.

Many, including Matt Haney with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, think $20,000 for a trash can sounds ridiculous.

“It’s insane,” said Fred, a city resident.

The costly cans even flaunt designer names.

Finalist one is the Salt and Pepper; two: the Slim Silhouette; and three: the Soft Square. All featuring roll-out liners or toters that can be mechanically lifted instead of manually taken out.

Why are doing this rather than putting out a bunch of different cans that are already produced that are much cheaper?” Haney said at a hearing.

The Department of Public Works installed 3,000 green cans in the ’90s. They currently cost around $1,200.

Even they admit the price tag is an expensive for the new prototype but promise the cost will go down once it is mass produced.

Department of Public Works acting director Alaric Degrafinried said his goal is for the city to have the best trash cans in the world.

“I want us to be, frankly, the model for other cities - Portland, New York, Sydney or any other city in the world - to come and to take our cans or model their cans after ours,” Degrafinried said.

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