Monday, April 22, 2013

Rethinking Trash Cans on City Streets

The "bomb-proof" bin
Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
The Atlantic / Cities

Link to article:
A World Without Trash Cans?

The recent events in Boston, where explosives were deposited into a metal trash can in the viewing area of the Marathon, has more people questioning the security risk that trash receptacles on city streets present.  Is the solution to do away with streetside trash cans, or redesign them for the new security concerns?

Excerpt: "In the modern terror era, major cities are all too aware of the ways attackers can use a piece of existing infrastructure to hide a weapon. Given this reality, what does a safe city look like now?

Some cities have already started to grapple with this question head-on. London, for example, began removing rubbish bins from its public spaces years ago. As our own Sarah Goodyear reported:
Bins were yanked from stations and many other locations in the central city years ago because the Irish Republican Army used them as bomb drop locations. Metal cans were especially attractive to terrorists because they could create deadly shrapnel when the bombs went off. Now the few cans they do have in the Tube are plastic bags suspended from hoops, carefully monitored by security.

This was not, obviously, a fool-proof solution. Residents complained that they had nowhere to put trash; critics said it led to an uptick in littering.

Around the 2012 Olympics, London began testing a new solution: "bomb-proof bins." The can was designed in 2007 by two entrepreneurs, and about 100 have been installed so far, with plans to bring similar designs to Singapore, Tokyo, and New York.

According to Gizmodo, the bin's design reduces 'the shockwave of an explosion.' And because the bin is made of steel, it prevents heat and shrapnel from generating out in the event of an explosion. The technology 'reduces the peak pressure of an explosion and extinguishes the fireball.'

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