Images of underground trash bins recently put in place in Taiyuan, Shanxi province have been getting attention online and the concept has been praised as an efficient, less foul alternative to your average trash can.
The underground bin measures 1.9 meters wide, 2.8 meters deep and can hold around 1.5 tons, according to CNTV. Its huge capacity can handle garbage from 500 to 800 families, the report said, all while preventing rotten smells from seeping through the sealed lids. The bins also require a special truck with a compression function and a capacity around 15 times larger than a regular garbage truck.
Taiyuan is one of several cities in China testing out the underground bins, a concept imported from Europe. Currently, Shanxi’s capital has built 20 bins, and more are expected to appear across China in the future.
China faces a mounting trash problem (seriously, mountains of trash) in the face of a growing consumerist population. The country is expected to produce three times as much trash as the US by 2030, and it’s estimated that it will need to develop around 1,400 new landfills over the next 20 years along with new industrial compost sites, incinerators and recycling infrastructures to contain the garbage. Last month, the “world’s largest” waste incinerator went into operation in Beijing.
While the underground bins might be an effective way to disguise the trash, we’re a bit weary that the wide openings could result in some horribly rank accidents.