Alt News September 30, 2012
One Man's Trash... This Guy Wants To Turn NYC Dumpsters Into Gardens


For most of us, a dumpster in front of our house is only welcome if we're doing renovations. But if Michael Bernstein gets his way, New Yorkers will be asking for more dumpsters in their neighbourhoods.

Michael has been working for more than a decade to push the idea of these garbage-bin gardens.

The idea first came to him when he was living in Dumbo, Brooklyn (the name is an acronym for "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).

"I was struck by how there are no trees down there," Bernstein says. " I liked the idea that this could be a portable green space that transported place to place. If you live in an urban place with no trees, you can get one of these delivered to your house."

He exhibited his first prototype in 2001 at Long Island City's Sculpture Center, and called his invention the Ten Yards project (that's the payload capacity of the dumpsters).

He still hasn't figured out who would be responsible for the bins and moving them around, though.

"I do not think the city is interested in having these green spaces shipped around," he told The Atlantic Cities.

And as Atlantic staff writer John Metcalfe points out, the area that inspired the bins now has a lot of green space: meadowland, a marsh, and even a tidal pool, all in the Brooklyn Bridge Park.

So the bins may not make it onto the streets of Brooklyn anytime soon. But they could be useful in other cities where green spaces aren't in the budget.

And Bernstein's got plenty of other uses for in mind for trash containers. How about a koi pond? Or a Japanese-style rock garden?



What do you think? Is the idea of a moveable garden in a dumpster a good way to combat the lack of green space in urban areas? Would you be excited to see one of these near your house?

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