Copenhagen has a trash challenge at hand. The City's single solution to the problem so far has been to dispatch costly cleaning crews. Living by the lakes, where people march around with paper cups of coffee, and crossing the bridge every day, I have grown frustrated with the piles of trash.
You get the sense that at least some of them intend to hit the trashcan, but that is as far as they will go. Maybe some have carried their cups for several overloaded cans, because they all look like this at the end of the day on Sundays. And sunny days.
Last week I stopped to take more pictures of the trash at the bridge, and I could feel the anger building up inside. "Look at this mess?" I said out loud to no one. Someone replied "it isn't ours" and I knew that was probably the case, but I got increasingly annoyed all the same. Winding up speaking in a really loud tone. Very counterproductive, don't think I didn't know that at the time.
Right next to the overloaded trashcan...
I mean: come on?!
When I got home I decided this was the wrong approach. I certainly don't respond well to people yelling at me, or treating me like a child. I wanted to wrap my brain around the problem, and see if I could come up with a solution. Obviously it would have to be something that would make people play along. I came up with the Test Tubes:
Painting. Empty Cups, minus lids. Messing it up big time (new found respect for stencil artists...), ended up doing it by hand.
The Test Tubes.
When the tube is full (freeing the small trashcan for different kinds of trash), all you have to do is flip the Test Tube, pull out the bottom-stick, and empty it. I couldn't wait to see them in action. I mounted the two on Saturday, and meant to give them a full week before reporting back to you, but the experiment was cut short. The Test Tube report:
Day 1: No vandalism. No cups on the ground. A few cups in one tube.
Day 2: No vandalism. No cups on the ground. A few more cups in both tubes.
Day 3: No vandalism. No cups on the ground. Both tubes filling up.
Day 4: No vandalism. No cups on the ground. Both tubes almost full.
Day 5: No vandalism. No cups on the ground. Both tubes emptied, yay! This means the City got it too?
Day 6: Removed by the City of Copenhagen. I guess the answer to my previous question would be "no", then?
The way I see it, the Test Tubes was a success. If you can make people play along in only five days, there is no limit to how we can play our way out of this mess. I am not done. Not by a long shot.
The Test Tubes won't be silenced:
So I made them a page on Facebook, if you want to follow their progress: