Artist-designed recycle bins adds more color to Scottsdale Waterfront

Independent Newsmedia
Posted 6/21/20

A new artwork series called, “Traceries,” adds colorful and environmentally-friendly trash receptacles to the south bank of the Arizona Canal through Old Town Scottsdale.

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Artist-designed recycle bins adds more color to Scottsdale Waterfront


A new artwork series called, “Traceries,” adds colorful and environmentally-friendly trash receptacles to the south bank of the Arizona Canal through Old Town Scottsdale.

In May, Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Solid Waste Services installed a series of eight, brightly-colored, artist-designed recycle/trash bins at the Scottsdale Waterfront, between Goldwater Boulevard and Scottsdale Road, according to a press release.

All the bins were designed by Chandler artist Mary Neubauer who used a digital 3D modeling program to experiment “widely and freely” with colors, surfaces, and light environments in the virtual world, the release said. 

“I see the project as an educational tool, when it comes to thinking about the role of responsible recycling and waste disposal as part of civic life,” said Ms. Neubauer in a prepared statement. 

“I hope the beauty and fun of these containers will inspire people to think about trash and recycling in a new and different way.”

Scottsdale Public Art teamed with Scottsdale Solid Waste Services for the project to address Scottsdale’s need for a “utilitarian recycle/waste bin,” the release said, noting the benefits of public art features to the canal waterfront.

The two organizations partnered in recent years during Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light to make it a zero-waste event, the release noted.

“I am fascinated by the geometries of tilings and tessellations, and I have incorporated this interest into the design of many of my public artworks,” Ms. Neubauer said.

“The rotating patterns give a sense of energy and dynamism to the overall designs, playing out in real-world silhouettes, combined with geometric complexity.”

Each “Traceries” bin has a double layer of steel sheet metal, the top layer including tracery designs that are powder-coated in bright contrasting colors, with design themes featuring butterflies, desert flowers, whirling impellers and hummingbirds.

“Our goal is to inspire and challenge others on how to reduce their overall waste footprint,” said Dave Bennett, Scottsdale Solid Waste Services operations manager, in a prepared statement.

“The waterfront bin project is a great example of reusing material to make another product. Most of the metal we used to build the new containers came from discarded refuse dumpsters.”

Mr. Bennett said the new colorful bins, designed to get the attention of people visiting the waterfront area, are an improvement on the former containers at the canal, which were described as difficult to locate and often led to litter in the area.

During the Canal Convergence event in November 2018, attendees witnessed designs for this project by three  artists and voted for their favorite design with Ms. Neubauer’s  receiving the most votes.

“Mary went above and beyond with her workmanship and design on this project,” said Tanya Galin, Scottsdale Public Art public art coordinator, in a prepared statement.

“She turned utilitarian objects made out of recycled steel into stunning pieces of public art for people to enjoy along the canal.”

Learn more about the project and see images of the eight bins at: