19 July 2012

Big news!

If you are really exhausted with the Test Tubes, I suggest you skip this post, because I have some big news: Monday the second edition hit the streets of Copenhagen. For those of you unfamiliar with the the Test Tubes, here is a recap, including the recent development:

We have a big coffee cup litter problem in targeted areas of Copenhagen. I live in one of those areas, and was getting really tired of the mess. Mostly the cups would get dumped next to the trashcans, as they were already full with other cups, taking up space that should be used for sticky stuff and smaller litter. In an attempt to solve the problem, I came up with a tube bolted to the trashcan, suggesting removing the lids and stacking the cups. How it all began, back in March:

The solution?

The tube is attached to the trashcan at the top with a single bolt. The stick in the bottom keeps them in, and for emptying you just pull it out, and flip the tube. Slide the cups out, reposition the tube and plug the pin back in. Easy.

And people got it right away. The tubes stayed up for a week, before being removed by the city. My countless emails were not answered. Nevertheless I planned to follow up with a sturdier version, but it moved to my procrastinating pile for a while, until the media around the world picked up on them. The Copenhagen Post, a newspaper in English, even came up with the title Rubbish Vigilante. Haha, that's me. Finally, the city of Copenhagen got in touch, saying they would like to hear more about the project.

We met and decided to do a test run with sixteen tubes in aluminum, looking like a really sexy version of the humble cardboard tube. Hello.

Test tubes v 0.2

Test Tube detail

I was in charge of decorating them, and the paint dried just in time to get them up on my birthday. 

Mounting day of the Test Tubes

July 16, mounting day. In a way we now share a birthday. I tell you it was a happy one!

Tadaaaa:

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Tomme kopper - låg / Empty cups - lids

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Twelve of them have the message in writing (empty cups minus lids), and four have the pictogram. Already I can tell it should have been the other way around, the easy read is by far the winner!

The tubes will stay up until October, and if they turn out to work, it is safe to say you can expect more Test Tube spam. They are scattered around Nørrebro (Sankt Hans Torv, Elmegade, Ravnsborggade, Nørrebrogade and Fælledvej), with a heavy presence at Queen Louises Bridge, where most of the cup litter action takes place. It has pretty much been raining ever since, not attracting the coffee cup crowd, but even so the tubes were already in use the next day.

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July 17.

And today one was half full. It makes me so happy, I can't even begin to describe it.

Tube half full

July 19 (yes: boots, Danish summer 2012).

From the very start you have been so supportive, if it were not for you and the amazing internet, this might never have happened. Thank you so much for keeping me going, and for sticking it out with me.


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40 comments:

  1. This is great. Thank you for making my favorite European city even more beautiful. (I lived there when I was 21.)

    Cheers,
    Becky

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    1. You are welcome, Rebecca. :-)

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  2. Happy belated birthday Sandra! So happy it worked out. This is what citizenship should be about, no? They look so good the new ones... Well congrats :-)
    Hugs.

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    1. Thank you Carole! I am super happy too, and they do look yummy in alu and paint. Hugs back at you. :D

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  3. So very cool. Congratz, Sandra!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Mr. Snefnug! :D

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  4. Det er så cool, når nogen gør noget! Thumbs up!

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    1. Og det er allersjovest når det virker, åh, jeg håber sådan at folk tager dem til sig. Så vil alt være godt.

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  5. Remember to patent this one - it will make you a rich lady as it spreads to other cities. Such a good idea, well done

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    1. Thank you Anna. If the tubes turns out to work (it is all up to the coffeedrinkers now), it will hopefully go into production. I am on a long and unfamiliar road with this, but I am happy to take it. :D

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  6. AnonymousJuly 20, 2012

    SÅDAN!!! best news this week, I'll celebrate (tomorrow, today it's to late when I get of work) by buing a cup of to go -wich I NEVER do- but I absolutly want to test and celebrate the tube:) congratulations to you, the togo-coffeedrinkers and the hoods wich will be blessed with the beauties:)
    happy hugs von muttilove<3

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    1. Ha, best news for me this week too, and it eased the blow of another birthday. It feels extra good to share the news here, where it all started.

      Happy hugs to you too! :-)

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  7. Så fint, din idé kunne komme til virkelighed - thumbs up!!

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    1. Helt vildt. Nu skal alle bare sige til alle at de skal bruge dem. Meget vigtigt, haha. Men det ser fint ud allerede, jeg er glad. :-)

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  8. I am so proud of you! This is great- the Garbage Vigilante: 1, Messy Copenhagen: 0!

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    1. You are so sweet Celena. :-)

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  9. AnonymousJuly 20, 2012

    Woehee!! For Sandra and the tubes!! Lot's of love from Amsterdam!!

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  10. Awesome. I wanna copy this to the local playground in Aarhus ASAP. (or wait till you get a production up and running so the city can buy them)

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    1. Oh, yes! If the Copenhageners decide to use them, maybe they will spread to other places in Denmark. And perhaps the world. Uh, fingers crossed.

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  11. Replies
    1. Jeg er så glad for dem, haha. Bliver i godt humør af at cykle forbi dem, og det gør jeg jo hver dag. :-)

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  12. Hvor er det cool! Super godt gået :-) Glæder mig virkelig over dem.

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  13. Yay! Sandra, for den da, hvor er det sejt. Elsker pictogrammet. Håber de bliver en succes og kommer op alle steder! Tubekærlighed til dig og Kbh.

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    1. Mange tak Pille. Jeg er også endt med at blive ekstra lykkelig for pictogrammet, og får lyst til at få det trykt på muleposer. Fluks. :-)

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  14. Super fedt! De skal sikkert blive et hit.
    Og tillykke med fødselsdagen d. 16... der var det også min fødselsdag :)

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    1. Men så tillykke til dig også! Så er vi tre der deler dag herinde, dig, mig og tuberne. :D

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  15. This is great news! And I do agree with you that the pictogram is easier to read. Hopefully from October on all of them will feature a pictogram ;-)
    And by the way, tillykke med fødselsdagen den 16. Det virker som om du har haft en dejlig dag! kh. Cris

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    1. I wish I had painted more pictograms, the letters were hell to paint, haha. Hopefully people will take their time to read the text, on the written ones, and get the message.

      And yes, I had a really sweet fødselsdag! :-)

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  16. It's so awesome to see someone have a really good idea, decide they actually care enough to do something about it, and then actually work to see it executed. This is really brilliant. I wouldn't be too surprised if these stick around in Copenhagen, that they may also city-hop a bit around the world.

    We just moved to a very dense, busy area of Portland, and there aren't many trash cans on the street, the ones that are there are always nearly full, and there are about 4 coffee shops within two blocks on the street we live on. I'm pretty sure these would be useful even for us.

    Anyway, CONGRATULATIONS! This is beautiful.

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    1. Thank you Dave. It is funny (or perhaps: not) how this problem seems to be big in many cities around the world. I didn't even cross my mind when I mounted the cardboard tubes on the bridge, that they could be useful in so many other places. I was just scratching a local itch.

      But now I am inspired to test them in other parts of the world too. What if they could make a real difference? That would be fantastic.

      This whole thing is a learn as you go experience for me. I am probably doing it all wrong, but at least I am doing it, ha. :D

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  17. I thought I saw the Test Tubes yesterday, but wasn't sure if I was hallucinating. So it seems they are back....congrats! Persistence prevails. I'm sure this one will be a successful Test Tube Test!

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    1. Sometimes it seems almost unreal to me that a spontaneous test turned into this. I am really excited about how people use them already. Like they have always been around. :-)

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  18. Very good idea and implementation! Congrats!

    But perhaps you should add some sort of graphics on the outside to illustrate it's usage? Also, since you mention rain it made me think: Filled coffee cups stack badly - perhaps the illustration should somehow show people to add the cups bottom's up?

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    1. Thank you. As for the graphics, I did already. As stated in the post, twelve of them have the message in writing and four in pictogram (graphics). I was wondering about how it would work in rain, but so far it is not a problem, the cups don't fill up with water, if anything they just get clean.

      Bottoms up doesn't change how many can be stacked. If you think about it.

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  19. brilliant!! and yeah i so agree with Anna, patent that thing all you can, i'm sure it can spread like crazy worldwide!

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    1. Apparently you can't patent something that has already been made public. Even if I could afford it, ha. I just want the thing to get out there and do its job. :-)

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  20. I just read about this, Sandra. A brilliant idea, pleasingly executed. Why haven't you got an award?

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    1. It feels very much like I did. Even if the city chose to ignore the problem, in the end. : )

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