When I read about a new invention yesterday for a talking solar trash bin, I had to laugh out loud. Exactly what would a talking trash bin say to me? Would it literally “talk trash?”
“Hey, baby… lay off the french fries!”
“Are you seriously going to throw that bottle away?”
“Nice haircut. Really.”
Oh, the possibilities are endless. I would love to rig my own trash bin to harass our neighbors when they wheel their garbage can to the curb every Monday. Ha, ha, ha!!
In Shanghai, China, talking solar trash bins are real. Ten such receptacles have been installed at People’s Square. Rather than discussing their contents, or how to recycle, these trash bins merely direct passers-by to the nearest toilet.
Solar panels on the top of the trash bins provide energy for their voices. The panels also illuminate city maps to help people find their way. Eventually, Shanghai plans to install close to 500 bins throughout the city.
No word as to the language or dialect that will be used by the talking solar trash bins. However, the talking solar trash bins are not as unique as you might think!
Three years ago, Berlin, Germany installed thousands of solar-powered garbage cans in effort to encourage people to toss trash in the bins, rather than the streets. The receptacles can’t tell you where to find the nearest bathroom, but instead say “many thanks” in German, when they detect that someone has inserted garbage. So as not to startle people, the bins only talk during daylight hours. As the inventor observed:
“The people like it. They pass them on the streets and start laughing because it’s unusual to have this sort of contact with a litter bin.”
I’ll say. Frankly, I prefer the strong silent type of trash bins.