Art garbage cans vs. Smart garbage cans

This is a two-part blog post: a little something about artistic garbage cans, vs. smart garbage cans … wouldn’t it be nice if we could combine them? First, the “art garbage can” … I was walking around Brookdale Park (which spreads itself over parts of Montclair and Bloomfield, NJ), and noticed this beat-up garbage can, which seemed like a nice example of abstract expressionism … and I’ve pulled a detail from the photo and put it into an art frame, to give an example of the “art” that I’m seeing here.

Part two of this post is something I was reading just this morning – about how the city of Pittsburgh has over a thousand public trash cans that collect data about the garbage that they’re collecting. The idea is brilliant: rather than send garbage collectors out on regular rounds to empty all of the city’s garbage cans, the smart garbage cans use sensors to alert sanitation workers when those cans are almost full. That allows the city of Pittsburgh to cut hours spent on checking all of the cans by an estimated 66%! It reduces operational costs, reduces the carbon emissions from garbage trucks who do less driving around, and allows the city to free up those workers to achieve other municipal tasks. What a great idea!

Back to our Brookdale garbage can … it doesn’t look very smart, but it looks artistic.

abstract art on a garbage can in Brookdale Park, NJ

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