An Ottawa councillor wants to add some flash to where Ottawans dump their trash.


Saying Ottawa needs to pay more attention to the appearance of city streets, Capital ward Coun. Clive Doucet said people should start by demanding smaller, more attractive trash and recycling bins.


The current ones are too unwieldy and they overwhelm the sidewalks, said Doucet.


“I think when we got them we were looking for the cheapest and they reflect that,” he said of the 300-plus steel bins located across the city.


He said the current bins are so ugly that business and residents don’t want them in their neighbourhood. Robert Nadeau, with the newly formed Glebe BIA, agreed, calling the current bins functional, but an eyesore.
“It’s ugly. It’s absolutely ugly,” Nadeau said. “Whenever I see them on the street, I can’t help thinking, ‘we have got to do better than this.’”

The cost of maintaining and procuring the current bins is recovered through advertising. But Doucet said the small entry holes and the large advertisements on the bins are a deterrent to using them.

New and improved bins, like three that have been placed around city hall, could cost around $2 million to purchase and maintain, but Doucet called that amount trivial relative to the overall city budget.

The contract on the current bins expires in 2010, but Doucet said people must start demanding better bins now before new contract negotiations begin.

“If the people of Ottawa don’t insist on attractive streets and street furniture, we won’t get them,” he said.