A Trash Bin Quandary
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A Trash Bin Quandary

Photo by Steve Kupferman/Torontoist.

Over the past seventeen days we’ve seen Toronto’s poor, untended trash bins in some pretty appalling states. So why is this one, located across the road from Main Street Station, so spotless?
Reader and area resident Brandy Harwood wrote to Torontoist, on Tuesday:

This morning as I walked to Main Station there was one of those brand new garbage bins across the street from it. There wasn’t one there last night when I went home! Overnight they bolted it in and saran wrapped it with the little sign asking us not to litter.
I find it odd that they are installing new bins during the strike…it’s a bit like taunting us! I’ll bet that tonight when I walk home it will be full already.

The brand-new garbage bin is one of the new receptacles being installed citywide as part of Toronto’s coordinated street furniture program. We first spotted them on sidewalks in March.
The coordinated street-furniture program, which the city operates in conjunction with Astral Media, a media and advertising company (to whom advertising rights on the new furniture belong), is also responsible for the city’s new bus shelters, info kiosks, multi-publication structures, posting columns, benches, and bike posts. Astral and the city will one day even provide us with a fleet of coin-operated public washrooms, which we can only hope will be equipped to survive future labour disruptions without…erm…overflow.
We visited the new bin in front of Main Street Station on Tuesday night and can confirm that there is not a fleck of grime on it anywhere, nor any large pieces of trash, inside or out. There’s even a second bin a few metres away at the corner of Main Street and Danforth Avenue that also appears brand new.
The city can’t be reached for comment because of the ongoing strike. We conducted an informal poll of two older men who happened to be walking by; one young woman who ran away in fright as soon as we finished speaking to her; one guy in a hockey jersey, smoking a cigarette; another guy who overheard us talking to hockey jersey guy; the vendor at the convenience stand inside Main Street Station; and two twenty-something Jehovah’s Witnesses who, in a lifetime first, were actually more embarrassed for us than we were for them at the close of our conversation—and still produced no confirmation of the bin’s alleged newness. Nobody had noticed a thing. All we know for sure now is that “hey, can I ask you about that trash bin over there” is a really horrible ice-breaker.
Still, we have to agree that there is something pretty ironic about the prospect of a shiny, new trash receptacle popping up all mushroom-like in the night, only to have a big look-but-don’t-touch sign tied to it.
So we ask: Have any coordinated street-furniture program trash bins appeared in your neighborhood since the strike began?