The city’s strategy to implement the Eucan contract is less a trial than a gradual introduction of that company’s recycling billboards behind a facade of public consultation. This has become clear with the installation of the EcoBins in the place of the old OMG Silverboxes.
EcoBins are slightly scaled down MegaBins with advertising on only one side. They are still more massive than the Silverboxes and noticeably clog the street when they are placed in the Silverboxes previous location. This is most evident at Roncesvalles and Howard Park in front of Rogers Video. The EcoBin clearly adds clutter to the corner as it competes with the transit shelter, telephone poles and Rogers Video’s own signage.
An EcoBin loiters in the middle of the sidewalk.
The EcoBins also shares the MegaBin’s faulty design as a recycling receptacle. The recycling apertures are again on the far end of the EcoBin and the small, general garbage container seems to receive refuse of all kinds, recyclable or not. At the corner of Bloor and Keele, I found an EcoBin completely filled with newspapers. This happens because the newspaper slot (it does exist) is oddly formed and not clearly marked. Indeed, you will have noticed that the city found it necessary to add stickers to each opening to help clarify what goes where. This move at least recognizes the initial bad design but still does not solve the problem as the stickers themselves are tiny and rather hard to see. Good design means you can use the object as intended with little pause for thought. Eucan’s products do not fulfill this demand unless they were designed primarily as advertising vehicles rather than recycling bins. How much do you want to bet that soon as the trial is over that empty second side also receives advertising?
The recycling slots on an EcoBin: What goes where?
Why are they removing the silverboxes and replacing them with EcoBins now, a month later after the trial actually began? Were they afraid to put them out all at the same time? Will they remove the EcoBins and return the silverboxes if the public speaks out against the project? Or will it then be too late (ie. too expensive) for the City to move backwards to a more progressive position that focuses on effective recycling and not advertising revenue? Both Councillor Watson’s office and the a rep from Eucan have clearly stated to me that the EcoBin deployment is part of the same trial as the original MegaBin/Ecomupi rollout. As such they are subject to the same public scrutiny via the City’s web survey. It is up to us to hold them to their word and fill out the City’s MegaBin/EcoBin survey.
Not impressed? Let the City know how you feel.