Redesigned Litter Baskets Set for Trial on NYC Streets

Redesigned Litter Baskets Set for Trial on NYC Streets

The NYC Department of Sanitation, Van Alen Institute, IDSA and AIA NY have unveiled prototyped litter baskets produced as part of the BetterBin Competition. BetterBin offered designers an opportunity to reimagine New York City's iconic green wire mesh litter basket.

The redesigned litter and recycling basket prototypes by Group Project and Smart Design will be placed on city streets for testing for a minimum of 30 days before a winner is selected.

"A city as unique as New York deserves products that have been purpose-built to serve its needs and the BetterBin Competition and its finalists have offered us just that," added Peter Schon, Chair, IDSA NYC. "As an organization that champions industrial design and the adherence to best practices the IDSA team has been thrilled to see DSNY approach the development of a new litter basket through research, concept development, iterative design, refinement and prototyping. And we're extremely grateful for the tireless efforts of the finalists in refining and developing their concepts. We've still got a lot to learn when the prototypes hit the streets this summer but we're certain that we'll end up with a solution worthy of the city it serves!"

The litter and recycling baskets will be on trial in three locations in the city, along 9th Ave in Manhattan (between 43rd and 45th), along Main Street in Queens (between Maple Ave and Cherry Ave) and on Castle Hill Ave in the Bronx (around Newbold Ave and Ellis Ave), and will replace the green wire-mesh baskets currently in those locations. After the prototype period, which may last for up to 90 days, the judging panel will select a first-place winner based on prototype performance, public response, and feedback from the Department's Sanitation Workers. 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.

"Given the rapid growth in NYC, addressing and improving the way residents and visitors handle their waste is critical to creating a clean, safe and sustainable city. Design is a powerful tool to help us rethink, and engage with our environment in new ways - we are excited by the designs that rose out from the nearly 200 submissions," said Van Alen Institute's Director of Strategic Initiatives, Jessica Lax. "This competition is an opportunity to be proactive in our response litter and recycling, and improve the quality of living of sanitation workers, residents and visitors. We anticipate these new bins to stay relevant in a modern city alongside other sidewalk innovations for the next 100 years."

"After months of refinement and collaboration with DSNY and partners, Group Project is thrilled to finally unveil our proposal for a new refuse and recycling bin for New York City," stated Colin Kelly of Group Project. "Our design revitalizes respect for the street corner by keeping the sidewalk clean, encouraging recycling, and creating a consistent icon New Yorkers can count on. The integrated three-part design reduces overflow, provides additional capacity, and keeps the bin upright. Designed with Sanitation Workers in mind, our bin is half the weight while providing superior ergonomics based on existing practices. We're excited for the testing period and look forward to seeing how the bins are received by the public."

"Smart Design is honored to have been selected as a finalist for the BetterBin Competition, and we are excited for our prototypes to grace the streets of NYC this summer!" said Dan Grossman, Associate Design Director, Smart Design. "Our approach centers on our core belief that design is about people, not things. We immersed ourselves in the realities that both every day New Yorkers and Sanitation Workers face daily. By understanding how the bins were used and serviced, we were able to identify new ways to improve the design, while keeping true to the needs and aesthetics of New York."

Van Alen Institute

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