Year Two in the Hashemite Kingdom, and my honeymoon with Amman is kaput. It’s impossible to keep the romance alive when your beloved is so totally…trashy. At work, shopping for trash receptacles for a new airport terminal, I stumbled across some wacky waste bins that might’ve saved my relationship with my new hometown.
Unlikely that the Greater Amman Municipality will splurge on these for every corner, but cool cans like these might inspire folks to properly dispose of their Jordanian junk. (A tidy girl can dream…). Here are ten great and green waste bins for keeping your trash.
1. Automatic Opening Can
No matter how clean you may be, your kitchen garbage pail is filthy. Rotten food, liquids and dust make for an icky mess that splatters everywhere: nobody likes to touch them. These auto-cans have been on the market for years. Infrared sensors let cans open automatically, based on detection of motion within a certain range. Lids close quickly after you make your dirty deposit.
The simplest trash bin on this list is Clean Cubes: an eco-friendly, biodegradable, disposable and recyclable collapsible “box” which holds a standard garbage bag in place. Easy to clean, easy to store, Clean Cubes received the 2012 International Housewares Association Innovation Award. ($10 on Amazon)
This expandable bin, designed by Front, expands and contracts according to the stuff you deposit. Sleek, smart and pretty: not a typical description of a garbage pail. ($780 at Scandinavian Design Center)
4. The Little Egg
The Ovetto Bin (Italian for little egg) was designed by Italian architect Gianluca Soldi to simplify trash sorting. The plastic oval is divided into three separate compartments for organics, plastics, papers (or any sorting method you choose). Different color doors help you identify what goes where. Compartments are lined with traditional garbage bags to allow easy emptying. ($272 at ecocentric)
Winner of the 2005 Pratt Product Design Competition, designer Kevin McElroy’s clever trash can allows you to store and reuse the plastic bags that you collect from shopping in a neat, organized way. Simply loop trash bags around the cut-out sides and push them all the way down, creating a visual of stacked handles all along the side. When you are ready to use one, just move it up to the handles and hook so that it won’t fall in on itself. ($19 at Uncommon Goods)
What to do is you’re too colorblind to use the Ovetto Bin? Let the bar code bin figure your recycling for you.
Just make like a cashier and swipe your (originally labeled) junk over the top and the appropriate bin will open automatically. By designer Woo Seok Park, this prototype hasn’t hit the marketplace yet.
Deriving its name from the original moon-walker, Neil Armstrong, designers Sukwon Park and Sungwoo Park conceived of this gizmo to let you compress your daily volume of trash. Drop in your junk, and then stomp on the lid. You may not be able to totally eliminate your wastestream, but you can reduce the amount of space it will take in landfills. Still in development, can you imagine the mess if the stomping burst the liner bag?
8. Minus Pail
Turkish designer Cem Tutuncuoglu dreamed up this high-tech gadget to help reduce trash stink – a problem in hot countries: it’s refrigerated to a temperature of your choosing. A literally cool concept, but how much energy does this consume? And isn’t composting the best afterlife for discarded organics?
The Crusades can be viewed from many angles, and using a medieval helmet to dump your dirties might be great fun for anyone not viewing the Crusaders as the noblest of heroes. This bin is formed from cast resin with a faux hammered-metal finish. ($50 at Design Toscano, currently out of stock)
The perfect gift for your favorite Gulf royal: a classic trash can dipped in real gold. Swiss pop artist Sylvie Fleur crafted only (?) 25 pieces which sold for $15,000 each. Possibly the perfect accessory for the garage where you park your solid gold Mercedes.