The city of San Francisco is searching for new public trash cans to ward off trash scavengers — and local officials are considering shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars on high-tech prototypes that will cost up to $20,000 each, a report said.
The city currently has about 3,000 garbage cans in public places, but the existing ones are frequently preyed on by human scavengers who leave behind a mess, the acting director of the Public Works department said, KTVU reported.
“They pick the lock, they dump the whole can on the street and then sort through the things they want while the garbage is either on the sidewalk or out on the street,” said Acting Director Alaric Degrafinried.
Rather than choose from already-manufactured bins, the city may launch a $537,000 pilot program for a contractor to manufacture 15 receptacles, according to the report.
Under the program, the contractor will create three prototype designs and the city will order five of each at $20,000 apiece, the report said.
The city hopes to create a high-tech, vandalism-resistant model and roll it out by the end of this year.
While the prototype is pricey, city officials said the actual replacement cost would be about $3,000 to $4,000 per can, according to the report.
The city’s supervisor, Matt Haney, told the news station he was concerned about the high price tag for the program.
“I saw the line item said 15 of them for $300,000? That is an extraordinary cost per can,” Haney said.