Recycling

City of Miami Beach Wants To Spend $100,000 on 'Instagrammable' Recycling Can

The artsy new waste receptacle is intended to make recycling "fun and cool."

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Miami Beach, Florida, wants to use art to inspire people to recycle, and it's willing to use taxpayer dollars to get the job done.

In late May the city asked artists to submit bids to build a temporary public art structure that will double as a functional recycling bin on the sands of Miami Beach. The winning artist will get $100,000 to design and build their creation.

"The artwork should function as a useable recycling structure that encourages interaction from the public, by making recycling 'fun and cool'" reads the city's solicitation for proposals. The winning project design will "engage visitors and residents with a promotional or Instagrammable moment, while also promoting the city's resiliency and plastic free initiatives."

Miami Beach has been a pioneer in anti-plastic policies.

In 2012, the city passed one of the first (albeit partial) straw bans in the nation, prohibiting the distribution or use of plastic straws on beaches and at beachside businesses. In the past two years, the city has banned the sale or use of expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam) citywide, and the distribution of single-use plastic bags at sidewalk cafes. In 2018, Miami Beach expanded the scope of its straw ban to bar the use of the little suckers from marinas, parks, and other city-owned properties.

With these prohibitions in place, the city is now trying to win hearts and minds with its Instagrammable recycling bin. This is not an unprecedented tactic.

In December 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded a $45,000 grant to a New York nonprofit in part to build a turtle-shaped waste receptacle that would be filled with plastic straws collected along the beaches of Long Island Sound.

That at least had a rational relationship to the EPA's goal of preventing litter from polluting the area. It's more difficult to see how Miami Beach's artwork/recycling structure will help the city accomplish its environmental goals.

In its solicitation for bids, the city offers a couple of reasons why it is discouraging the use of single-use plastics: reducing demand for natural resources, reducing greenhouse gases, and preventing litter and debris from damaging wildlife, beaches, and clogging up the city's drainage system.

But cutting down on plastic use won't really accomplish the first two of the city's goals, given that substitutes for single-use plastics—be they paper straws or cloth tote bags—also consume natural resources, while leading to more greenhouse gas emissions.

Encouraging more people to recycle does nothing to prevent litter. So long as a discarded item makes it into a bin, it really doesn't matter whether that item is then recycled or sent to a landfill. Both prevent trash from polluting natural environments.

Perhaps instead of spending $100,000 on a single (albeit pretty) recycling can, Miami Beach could spend that money on multiple new public trash cans. That might not inspire people quite as much, but it would make it more convenient for them to put their garbage in a bin as opposed to throwing it on the ground.

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  1. Thank you, Miami Beach! Very cool!

  2. Meanwhile, we are finding that American recycling is simply being packed into containers and shipped to Third World nations as trash.

    Recycle, Reuse, and Defraud the public.

    1. They don’t even want it anymore. Most of it ends up in a landfill.

      1. And a well designed landfill is a great place for it. Stays out of the water and the air and if at some point it becomes economical to recycle the stuff, it’s all still right there.

        1. Absolutely. I think the landfill problem is basically something New York invented because it could never figure it out. There are poorly designed landfills, but there are also well designed landfills. And for some stuff it does make sense to recycle. But the idea that we armies if minimum wage working picking through our trash so we can recycle absolutely everything is bullshit. The only reason it exists at all is because taxes pay for it. No way a market would ever come up with the idea of armies of drudgers picking their way through all the trash. Nope, a market would have come up with something better and cheaper.

          1. I think the landfill problem is basically something New York invented because it could never figure it out.

            There is no landfill problem. Penn & Teller did an episode of Bullshit on this many, many years ago.

            The perception that there is a landfill problem began with the unmoored trash barge that floated around in the water off Manhattan for a few weeks in the ’80s because of NYC’s incompetent waste management.

            People mistakenly thought the barge had nowhere to go because we were literally running out of landfill space, which is no ways near true, and never will be.

            At that time, glass, metals, and paper already were being recycled because it made economic sense to do so. My family were recycling cans, bottles, and newspapers in the ’70s, for the money.

            Plastic recycling was born out of the perceived landfill issue, and is largely pointless and wasteful, since most plastic is just a by-product of gasoline production.

            1. most plastic is just a by-product of gasoline production

              And it’s also worth pointing out that most plastic comes out of the ground in a far nastier and more toxic form than it goes back into the ground in.

  3. “It’s more difficult to see how Miami Beach’s artwork/recycling structure will help the city accomplish its environmental goals.”
    Not difficult at all. Check the voter registration of the eventual winner of $100,000.00 in tax dollars.

    1. Not sure what that has to do with the price of eggs.

      1. We use the toilet to recycle eggs – – – –

    2. Check the voter registration of the eventual winner of $100,000.00 in tax dollars.

      I’ve been involved in several of these sorts of projects, and it’s really more about the egos of the city folks. There may be some particular artist they really like and want to get photographed with (I did one recently with the prime sculptor from Burning Man where I think that’s largely why he was chosen), or they just want the glossy photo of themselves standing by their new awareness-raising campaign.

      But it’s also true that the artist is unlikely to be a Republican.

  4. Recycling is neither fun nor cool, and it’s slowly killing the planet.

    1. It’s like Electric Cars. It just shifts the pollution to rural counties where the coal plants are so affluent white urban liberals can feel good about themselves and get some Carbon Credit Indulgences.

      1. ^ This. This is also why electric cars drive me crazy. Hybrids make sense in many ways, especially if you accept the current Global Warming narrative. But electric cars are just masking their emissions more than they they are reducing them.

        1. It would make sense if cities got their electricity from nuclear power or hydro or solar. But for the most part cities get their power from coal and natural gas plants.

          1. Which is why the truly enlightened get the joke about “coal powered cars”, whereas the typical leftist just gives a blank stare.

          2. It would make sense if cities got their electricity from nuclear power or hydro or solar. But for the most part cities get their power from coal and natural gas plants.

            Exactly. California is currently in the process of electrifying everything based on Jerry’s promise to have a completely carbon-free power supply network by 2030, which ain’t gonna happen.

            But as long as the intentions were good, right?

  5. “The winning artist will get $100,000 to design and build their creation.”

    This is going to be hilarious…

    “My recycling bin, crafted from the surrounding sand and debris of the beach is a comment on our one-ness with nature and how we need only look to nature herself for the answers to our environmental woes. Also because I would rather spend that money on cocaine. “

  6. “Perhaps instead of spending $100,000 on a single (albeit pretty) recycling can…”

    The next time someone says anything about Pentagon waste, that will make a good talking point [it ain’t just the military that blows money on toilet seats and hammers].

    1. Oh hell, yeah – you should come to CA and see what we’re spending on “Gender Inclusive Restrooms.”

  7. Dear God, this is what happens when the current crop of coddled snowflakes do when they finally get out of college, they go into marketing.

    Investment advice: invest in Pepto-Bismol, because the rest of us will be drinking it like ice tea to get us through the coming apocalypse.

  8. “The artwork should function as a useable recycling structure that encourages interaction from the public, by making recycling ‘fun and cool'”

    Now, it only it made economic or environmental sense, they’d be on to something.

  9. Just how much money do the Kochs make on plastic straws?

    You’re positively obsessed!

    1. Tony
      June.12.2019 at 4:14 pm
      “Just how much money do the Kochs make on plastic straws?
      You’re positively obsessed!”

      Shitbag, here, should learn the definition of “projection” and “stupid”, since he’s the poster-child for both.

      1. Your retorts are as witty as always.

        1. “Your retorts are as witty as always.”

          Shitbag here wants better replies to his idiotic statements.
          I’d say his statements are worth no more than:
          Fuck off, slaver.

    2. Just how much money do the Kochs make on plastic straws?

      It’s not about the money. It’s about idiotic rules being made by people who haven’t the foggiest idea that their ruling on and can’t be bothered to do basic research.

  10. I have no problem with Miami Beach spending $100,000 on an ‘Instagrammable’ recycling can, as long as the city council members and the mayor pay for it.
    But for some strange reason, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

  11. “Both prevent trash from polluting natural environments.”

    Not true, Burying plastic under a golf course does not stop it from breaking down and leaching into our water supplies and the ocean.

    1. Burying it under golf courses also does not prevent the chemical ingredients from being used in jet airplanes that produce chemtrails over this great nation of ours.

      1. Plastics break down and leach into the water supply. Even when buried.

    2. Remember these words, because words are important.

      “properly designed landfill”

      Properly designed and built landfills do not leach anywhere.

      Further, the usual complaint about plastics is that they do not break down quickly enough. So the leaching from plastics should not be a problem for several hundred years.

      What leaching that happens is typically because materials that should have gone into a haz-mat rated landfill got put in a standard rated one.

  12. I get paid over $426 1 to 2 hours working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over $28k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I’ve been doing……

    ……………………… payshd.com

  13. […] Desde mayo se realiza un concurso en donde los participantes deben realizar una estructura de arte público temporal que se duplicaría como un contenedor de reciclaje funcional en las arenas de Miami Beach, reportó Reason. […]

  14. […] Desde mayo se realiza un concurso en donde los participantes deben realizar una estructura de arte público temporal que se duplicaría como un contenedor de reciclaje funcional en las arenas de Miami Beach, reportó Reason. […]

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