Even though trash cans in major cities across the world serve a positive purpose, some questionable individuals have taken advantage of these containers to carry out their own agendas. That has never been more evident due to the attacks at the Boston Marathon, where a trash can was used to conceal a bomb that killed and injured many innocent people.

Garbage bins have a long history of being used for negative gains. Many cities are finding ways to not give anyone the opportunity to use trashcans in a negative manner.  In London especially, the Irish Republican Army used them as a place to drop bombs in the city center. Not only do the trashcans provide ample cover but also the trashcan itself will provide dangerous shrapnel when the bomb goes off.

This obvious problem has resulted in a variety of solutions some more effective than others. Some cities have chosen to just suspend a plastic bag but other major cities have taken more of a technological approach to the problem. Sparked by the Olympics in 2012, cities have been implementing “bomb proof bins.”

Photo Courtesy of Treehugger.com

Photo Courtesy of Treehugger.com

The bin is specially designed to reduce the explosion by being made of steel and even prevents the generation of heat and shrapnel.  This trashcan is very advanced and even has a screen on the side that can relay any emergency announcements as needed. These “bomb proof bins” will offer a great deal of good but only about 100 have been implemented so far.

Many cities that have experienced tragic events from bombings have taken out trashcans in high foot traffic areas completely. Various city officials, including New York City and Boston make the argument that fewer garbage cans will keep these places cleaner, which is somewhat counter-intuitive.

In the moments after the attacks on Boston, trashcans were a top priority to be removed from the area. Now even mailboxes have been the same topic of debate and have already started being taken out of major metropolitan city centers including the National Mall and any major parade route.

If getting rid of trashcans completely will result in fewer attacks and less casualties, then it is the appropriate solution. Hopefully, waste removal can incorporate advancements in technology to provide a safe place for people to live and an option to properly dispose trash.