One man’s trash is… still another man’s trash. Usually.


“Trash cans are ugly because they remind me of waste and the unuseful things in life.”

Trash cans. Smelly, dirty, and filled up with junk to be thrown in a landfill. I see where you come from. But how can we make trash not so trashy?


Photo from Random Refuge: Arcata- Trash(can) Art 1

First, we have to look at the object in question itself. Trash cans weren’t made for fashion originally, they were strictly function. But as time’s gone by, I think these civil servants deserve a new splash of creativity. They do (literally) the most dirty job of all in the ‘can’ family, shouldn’t they get the props they deserve? Trash cans are the unsung heroes of urban life. What about the things we throw in them?


Bay View Arts Guild (Milwaukee)

Think about the last thing you threw away. Was it a water bottle? Gum wrapper? Half eaten sandwich? Human waste is an ever growing problem, and the Greenpeace in me is dying to remind you to recycle, but that’s not what this post is about.

I lied. That’s exactly what this is about. (Sorry. (Only not really)) There’s an art shop in my town (Santa Barbara) called Art From Scrap where funk-zone inspired artists go to create. They have everything from skate board wheel scraps to bottle caps to spare yarn. They are the people to go to for all of your environment friendly artistic cravings.

So back to the title: One man’s trash is…still another man’s trash. Usually. No matter how bad you think you have it, I promise someone has it worse. So next time you storm the PTA asking for better lunch meat- or whatever it is you find necessary to complain about, ask them why your school isn’t helping the bigger badder world become a better planet. So while you and that gal sitting next to you both think that whatever you just threw away is trash, someone on the other side of Earth might be willing to do anything for your piece of trash.

We only have a short amount of time on this rock. We’ve exploited it’s riches, we’ve commercialized, urbanized, and corrected our politics to the point of exhaustion. This rock has done a heck of a lot for us, so let’s return the favor. Leave Earth a better place than you found it. And don’t blame trash cans for trying to clean up your mess.

Don’t forget the glitter- iamtheseventies.

(for more stories on cool trashcans, check out Random Refuge, Mighty Lists, mental_floss, Bay View Arts Guild and The New York Times.)


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