24 October 2009

Garbage Disposal for Cyclists in Copenhagen


My friend Marie and I were inspired to write a letter a couple of years ago to the City of Copenhagen with a long list of good ideas that Copenhagen should consider in order to cater more to cyclists and brand cycling better.

As fate would have it, Marie is now working at the City's Bicycle Office and I'm a senior consultant but one of those ideas was inspired by a photo sent to me by David Hembrow in Holland. David writes the A View from the Cycle Path blog - a must read.

Anyway, garbage bins for cyclists. I blogged about it a year and a half ago. Raised up and tilted towards the cyclists, offering them a better hit ratio.


I recieved this photo from the Bicycle Office the other day. There are right now a handful of prototypes of a tilted garbage bin along some routes aimed at cyclists who have problems aiming.

Brilliant stuff although to be honest, I think this prototype design needs some improvements. It could be mistaken for a garbage bin that was bumped by a car and bent. It should be higher as well.

Like in many cities there is a design manual for all City inventory on the urban landscape and this bin is a variation on the theme. In order to really hammer the point home that this is for cyclists I think the city should consider making these bins different than all the other regular bins. Brand them for cyclists. Different colour, bigger, higher and a wider opening and with the City's 'I Bike CPH' logo all over it. The City is open to ideas that there could be a target design on them to show that you're meant to aim, among other ideas.

At the moment they're testing them to see if people are better at aiming with their coffee cups or apple cores or whatever they're throwing out from their bicycles. They'll see the results in a couple of months.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love the four-leggedy thing. It's just crying out for kids to paint them up as litter-eating critters.
A junior design comp?
- WeeE

David Hembrow said...

Thanks for featuring my photo of a Dutch bin. It's been all over the place now. These are very common now, and are on all school routes for obvious reasons. The older generation of bins look more like fishing nets.

From your photos of the Danish prototypes, it seems they're a bit on the small side. I've never measured one, but I'd guess that the openings of ours are at least 40 cm in diameter, perhaps more. It helps people with poor aim.

mlcastle said...

I don't get it. Do people in more advanced countries actually manage to do some kind of trash-generating activity while riding a bike?

Mikael said...

you drink coffee, eat a banana/apple/other fruit, you clean out your pockets while riding, etc etc.

David Hembrow said...

On a ride this morning I went past one of our older style bins (as seen here) and measured it. Not having stopped next to one before, I'd very much underestimated the size. The opening is about a metre wide.

As for what activities people might do while riding a bike, well... anything and everything.

Secondary school children often eat their breakfast while cycling to school. Some have 20 km to cover to get there, so there is enough time. And it's safe enough (see a slightly shorter route here). As for me: on longer rides I tend to eat on the go as well, and I generally eat a banana on the way home from work.

Adrienne Johnson said...

I wish they had these in the US. My son generates at least a banana peel or apple core in the first half of the ride home from preschool, and then there is always a muffin or hot chocolate in the second half. We are always looking for rubbish bins.

John said...

Is it safe to ride while eating a banana? Is this any better than driving and talking on the phone?

Mikael said...

rolling along on a safe, separated cycle track at an average speed of 16 km/h [the copenhagen average for bicycles], more than likely sitting upright and not hunched over drop handlebars and eating a banana?

I don't have the fantasy to imagine how that could possibly be unsafe.

in the morning rush hour - and all through the day - there are people eating all manner of food, drinking hot coffee, putting on/taking off gloves, etc etc etc.

I have several photos with this theme on Copenhagen Cycle Chic, including myself.

And from Paris, a couple of weeks ago.

When cycling goes mainstream, this is normal.

Car drivers, controlling a 2000 kg machine made of steel and glass, who are inattentive can kill people. Eating an apple on a bicycle hardly compares.

And the City wouldn't invest in garbage cans to cater to the cyclists if it wasn't normal behaviour.

Anonymous said...

Apple cores and banana skins should be thrown in bushes to rot. What about different colour bins for recycling paper,cans, bottles ?