Colin Kelly is one part of the NYC-based design firm Group Project, who won the competition for the new Better Bin, to replace the ubiquitous green wire mesh litter bins around New York City. We speak about the state of waste collection in NYC, the design ideas and the prototype process behind Better Bin, and what happens when a group of friends suddenly need to become a real company when they become finalists for a massive design competition.
DSNY currently has 23,000 litter baskets citywide, including over 13,000 wire litter baskets. These baskets are easy for residents to misuse, accessible to rats, and often overflowing.
Local designers (Group Project) have designed our litter basket of the future: rat resistant, harder for the public to misuse, easier for Sanitation Workers to use, and with more volume. These Better Bins are now beginning mass production.
- Colin Kelly portfolio – Better Bin
- Group Project
- Typology.city – where policy meets our bodies
- DSNY – Better Bin
- DSNY Litter Basket Map – NYC Open Data
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When we learned that we were finalists, obviously we were ecstatic. We had to quickly become very professional very quickly. The team that submitted that initial concept, we were just a group of friends. Two, two of my friends from college and then another mechanical engineering friend from a past job. Very quickly had to get a lawyer form an LLC. Get, get liability insurance. Like we had to actually, in order to conduct business with the city, you have to be a legitimate entity. And we were not that we were just again, a group of friends.