Even in a cleaned-up post-Bloomberg New York—and even in some of the city's toniest neighborhoods—open, overflowing trash bins unfortunately remain an aesthetic scourge. And if you're a building owner, the fines that ring up when passerby throw things in your bins willy-nilly can be more than a little exasperating—and expensive.
So naturally, new companies are cropping up to address the problem. Services like CitiBin and MetroBox (pictured above), as recently profiled by the New York Times, provide sturdy, more attractive storage options for buildings looking to up their garbage game. MetroBox currently has one $900 double-bin model, while CitiBin opts for modular units that start at $1,300 apiece, with the option to add planters on top:
Thus far, the bins have been mostly used by owners of individual brownstones or small multi-families. No surprise, since both companies are based in Brooklyn, and this kind of extra expense is more likely to be favored by individual owners with room in their budgets focused on aesthetics than large management companies focused on the bottom line. But what if you live in a big building, and would like to see something other than your neighbors' trash when you're coming and going? Take your request straight to the landlord or the board, as the case may be.
Liz Picarazzi, founder of CitiBin, notes that residents of larger buildings often ask for proposals to take to the management, and if you're looking for leverage, also points to the company's 10-year warranty as a selling point for buildings looking to replace rickety old rubber bins. (For their part, MetroBox offers a three-year warranty.)
It might also be a good idea for buildings getting citations for overflowing cans or miscategorized recycling as well as one expected demographic: buildings close to the subway. "If there's not a city trash can near the subway entrance, people use whatever they can find," says Picarazzi, citing one Park Slope building adjacent to an F stop that bought the bins to stop passerby from turning the place into a trash heap.
So what do you think—much-needed upgrade to a gross, longstanding city problem, or too expensive to be worth the trouble?