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See how New York’s ubiquitous trash cans may be redesigned

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A competition held by the Sanitation Department and Van Alen has solicited over 200 designs for a new corner waste basket

New York’s ubiquitous green corner trash can may be getting a makeover. The city’s Sanitation Department teamed up with the Van Alen institute in May to launch a design competition to upgrade the mesh waste basket that the city’s been using since the 1930s, and the results are in. Three designs have been chosen to move forward for prototyping, Gothamist first reported.

The three teams selected to move forward out of over 200 submissions will now receive $40,000 to produce their prototypes. After the period of public use and review, a judging panel taking into account prototype performance, public response, and feedback from sanitation workers will select a winner.

That, however, doesn’t mean the selected design will multiply across the city: The Sanitation Department says the winner will be “eligible to contract with the City for further design development to ensure the ability to mass-produce the basket at a reasonable cost, as well as refine technical issues.”

The three chosen designs each incorporate a mesh element, important for drainage.
Via Gothamist

The finalists’ designs, like the one currently in use, are cylindrical and incorporate a mesh element. At a Sanitation Department open house, sanitation worker Keith Prucha noted that, importantly, the mesh design allows water to escape when it’s raining. “A basket that weighs 50 pounds, when it’s raining, it can weigh upwards of 75 up to 100 pounds,” Prucha told AM New York.

Other elements that will determine the feasibility of the design is its ability to be mass produced cost effectively—there are more than 23,000 green mesh baskets across the city—and whether or not people actually like it. That will be determined in the period of public opinion survey after the prototypes are placed in public.

The winning teams are Group Project, by Colin P. Kelly, Brit Kleinman, Brandon Massey, Chris Glaister; IONDESIGN GmbH Berlin by Anja Götz, Christoph Fleckenstein, Tom Ruthenberg, Martin Binder, Christina Schäfer, Dario Zadra, Annika Rauch, Amir Reza Ameli); and Smart Design by Davin Stowell, James Krause, Dan Grossman, Edward Laganis, Meegan Daigler, Albert Kwak, Grayson Hild.