OKAY, this is a trash article. Not because I admit this article should go to the bin but because I will talk about trash cans. Yes. Something revolutionary is happening to these dirt-collecting containers we usually pass by virtually everywhere, which are begging to be talked about.

Garbage cans typically take the form of cylinders or cubic shapes. These could be lidded (for sanitary purposes), open (for convenience) or holed at the side (for both aforesaid purposes). Materials used for these vary from organic (e.g. rattan) to longer-lasting (e.g. plastic and tin). The color and size differ depending on the interior designs of the establishment these are located in, or the purpose these serve. But the most astonishing feature of trash bins is that these should be inconspicuous and at the same time easily noticeable or else the Nova wrapper will just freely linger in an unseen corner (which is technically not hidden) because the trash cans are not around or we haven’t seen them.

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But just recently, trash bins were being transformed into anything but trash as the Fine Arts students from the University of the Philippines Baguio took notice of these lowly fixtures and got their, well, artistic hands to these.

As a project for the course subject FA 15 (Materials 2 under Mr. Jose Manuel Sicat) the freshmen redesigned garbage bins using paper maché. Now, the junk vats are available in cute and brightly colored images such as the Power Puff Girls, crayon box, Lego-built character, animé characters, totem pole, and television, popcorn and soda set. Each set holds three trash bags—a reminder of the city ordinance on waste segregation—and labeled biodegradable, non-biodegradable and recyclable appropriately.

The innovation of these trash cans is what is considered in literature as dulcet et utile: not only beautiful but functional. Why do the students have to transform junk containers into adorable images? To defy the typical ignorable feature of these. As was said earlier they should not garner attention. They should not be flashy. But when they are not noticed, people tend to disregard them and just throw their junk anywhere.

If they see trash cans so flashy and delightful, they would find no reason of dumping practically anywhere and pretend as if nothing happened.

And this is what is hoped to see in this new kind of art: it is just like a wake-up call for everyone.

Moreover, the garbage containers are very amusing that you actually wouldn’t want to use it according to its purpose. But perhaps, this is somehow a call to evaluate our acts regarding waste management.

Admit it or not, most (if not all) of us have tried tossing banana cue sticks through the window of a moving jeepney. Or perhaps, folded Tortillas wrapper into its minutest and inserted through a gap somewhere among wall stones. Or maybe obliviously left or dropped empty taho cups somewhere in Burnham or Session Road walkway. The point is we didn’t cling to our garbage long enough until we spot a trash can where it properly belong.

Of course, this is another “let’s make the earth clean and green” advocacy and there is just so much to say about the damages our world has been incurring for the last hundred decades since we, homo sapiens sapiens, have started inhabiting it. We can’t afford to see the worse unfold before our eyes, can we?

In any case, we hope to see the often ignored trash cans which have turned surprisingly into, not only something functional but delightful to the sight too, as an encouragement to care for our environment. And there we may find a treasure of real value especially for the future.