Thursday, January 24

The $5,000 St. Augustine Trash Bin

St. Augustine wants to replace garbage cans with garbage/recycling cans. In theory, I like the idea, since I did the same thing in my kitchen. I know that my $60 kitchen garbage can isn't commercial-grade, and it's probably a bit smaller than what's needed, but for $5,000 a pop, I'm hoping some local artisans are building 16th century vintage trash cans. Wait, there were no garbage cans when St. Augustine was founded. So we can do whatever we want.

If St. Augustine wants to make the town feel like it did back in 1600, then we'd just toss the trash in the streets. The panhandlers could be paid to sweep it up each week, similar to how English rakers would remove the waste from London's streets once a week (to be dumped in the Thames).

It wasn't until 1757 that Ben Franklin started a street cleaning service and told people to make some garbage pits. I bet it doesn't cost $5,000 to dig a bunch of garbage pits around St. Augustine. Use some wrought iron bars to make them safe for the kids, and dump away.

Do you realize that as humans, we didn't have garbage cans and a collection service until 1875? And that was in England, so it took some time to catch on in America. I know, it's better not to have disease and whatnot, so garbage cans are a necessity in the modern world. What I'm saying is that since these receptacles didn't exist back in the day, they don't really have to be designed to match the decor in America's oldest city. It would be like making everyone ride horses instead of drive  automobiles while in town.

But what if we eliminated the trash can idea without littering the streets, and provided jobs for those who would otherwise be asking for handouts?

Sure, you could go with the classic Oscar the Grouch design. But I like the idea of pirates or Conquistadors carrying trash and recycling bags, possibly made of linen or wool if you want to keep it real. Then another guy in peasant clothing could roll a cart down the street and yell, "Bring out your trash!" Imagine how much people would eat that up if the cart rolled down the street once an hour. Where else are there photo ops with the local garbage?