To boost residential recycling rates, Paris had to re-think their collection system. For years Parisian apartment buildings were stocked with their own yellow recycling bins—if there was space. But even buildings that could stuff a bin in the lobby often overflowed before they could be emptied. And this imperfect, inefficient system was costing the city €11 per resident.
Industrial designer Fabien Delwal was asked to look at the problem. Delwal had been working on refuse collection designs for years:
Combination traffic bollards/refuse chute for underground collection for Versailles-Grand-Parc.
Cigarette snuffer made from glass-filed polyamide created for Parisian trash cans, to cut down on cigarette litter on sidewalks.
Semi-buried robust container with steel structure and concrete body, polyester lid and wood trim for appearance's sake.
Experimental fireproof bins made of sheet metal, with cigarette snuffer up top.
Volcano bins created for client Temaco. Steel structure, LDPE body.
Most of those designs are around a decade old (hence the poor image quality), but you can see, Delwal's designs are meant to stand out, presumably to alert passersby that this waste collection option exists.
For the City of Paris, Delwal designed these curbside Trilib bins.
Placing the bins curbside reduces the complexity of the pickup, as city workers can collect from the street, dropping the cost to €8 per resident.
The lids are swung open by means of a foot pedal.
Up to six categories of material can be collected: Textiles (i.e. used clothes), cardboard, paper, metal & plastic commingled, and glass.
You'll notice the cardboard section in the design above is open. This actually led to problems:
Subsequently the design was revised to a mail-slot-like arrangement. I'm not confident this solves the problem, but presumably there are cost considerations.
Another seemingly unsolvable issue presents itself here:
That graffiti essentially says "Please don't use these at night," as the sound of glass being thrown into a bin disturbs sleep. One attempted fix by the city was to try foam-lined bags, which again, I'm not confident would solve the problem. Eventually stickers were placed on the bins urging residents not to use them after hours.
You've undoubtedly noted the snazzy finish of the bins. Interestingly, they're produced by an automotive supplier, Plastic Omnium. (I guess if you've got machinery sized to produce bumpers and automotive panels, objects like this are no problem.)
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