Ever wonder where the bright blue “Recycle! It’s Cool” bins went? They’re going, going, nearly gone.

Last summer, city staff launched a pilot recycling program that sent 39 older, repainted trash cans into the downtown core for beverage container and newspaper recycling.

“The program seemed to be working,” said Maggie Thompson with Calgary Parks. However, bins began getting trashed and residents expressed “aesthetic concerns,” so officials began phasing out the blue bins to bring in more expensive, more attractive, two-bin systems.

One bin is for beverage containers, while the other is for garbage or newspapers, depending on the site, said Thompson.

Last September, the city purchased eight two-bin systems, each costing several hundred dollars.

“We hope to purchase another eight in 2010, but we’re still waiting on the budget,” she said, adding that their hope is to acquire eight additional systems every year.

Systems can be found in Chinatown, Tomkins Park, and Olympic Plaza, although Eau Claire and Promenade might still sport some of the blue It’s Cool! Bins.

“They tend to disappear,” Thompson added.