A few years ago the Sunshine Cinema, one of my favorite NYC movie theaters, closed to make way for, let's see here, a "boutique office building." RIP. The day it closed they left a bunch of seats from the theater on the sidewalk, and I was sorely tempted to go grab one just for the nostalgia factor. "See this weird chair?" I could ask friends and soon-to-be-terrified first dates upon entering my apartment. "It's from the old Sunshine!" I didn't bother schlepping to the LES for it. I have regrets!
Well, I've learned my lesson, and when the old New York garbage cans get swapped out for new ones in the coming years, you bet your ass I'll be stockpiling them in my living room! That's right: the familiar green trash cans, referred to by the Sanitation Department as "iconic," officially confirming the death of the word, are being updated. Farewell, filthy hideous garbage receptacles of old. We hardly knew ye.
The design for the new "basket-style" trash cans was selected at the end of a 2018 contest called BetterBin. I cannot stress enough how much I wish this had been a reality show, but them's the breaks. The new design is easier on the eyes as well as being ergonomically superior to its predecessor, lighter and easier to empty. That stuff matters! And since there are over 23,000 of these things dotting sidewalks all over the city, swapping out the old ones will be quite an undertaking. So much so that the old design hasn't been refreshed since 1931.
The first of the new "litter baskets" will be rolling out along 5th Avenue between 88th and 92nd Streets in Manhattan before the programs expands to the rest of the city. Just in case you want to, I don't know, pose for a selfie with some trash before anyone else does.