Public Works Begins Looking At Off-The-Shelf Trash Can Models To Test Alongside Its $12000 To $20000 Beauties –

By Will Jarrett, Mission Local
October 6, 2021
When San Francisco’s quest to find the perfect trash can began in 2018, the Public Works Department struggled to find off-the-shelf cans that fulfilled their stringent criteria. Their perfect can would be tamper-resistant, durable, cost-effective, able to accommodate a rolling toter, fitted with a sensor to check when the bin was full – and pretty.
Mohammed Nuru, then director and now accused federal criminal, decided at the time that the city should build its own cans instead of buying off the shelf. This summer, the Board of Supervisors approved the second stage of that process: building five prototypes each of three new designs at a cost of $12,000 to $20,000 a can. These will be tested alongside off-the-shelf models.
The estimate of what the custom cans will cost once they go to mass manufacturing to replace the city’s 3,300 public cans has been a moving target. It started at $1,000 a can when the project was announced, moved to $3,000–$5,000 during hearings this summer and then slid back down to $2,000–$3,000 in the week after the hearings.
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Mission Local covers San Francisco from the vantage point of the Mission, a neighborhood with all of the promise and problems of a major city. You can support Mission Local here.


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