It occured to me that we needed a context for Duende's urban fire fountains. Existing Paris garbage cans clearly discourage fires.
Matthew Blackett wrote a good piece in Spacing about the replacement of the heavy concrete and ceramic tile garbage cans in the Toronto Metro with a similar, transparent solution. He says it is an anti-terrorism measure: one can see a bomb, whereas before they were hidden. If they were there.
Then I found Artemy Lebedev's site: a two-year study of rubbish bins in the public domain, mostly in Russia and eastern Europe. He writes with that lovely irony of someone who lives in cynical times. 'The function of a trash can is the timely collection of litter that is carelessly thrown in its direction.'
We have just had enormous black bins with wheels delivered for our household garbage with helpful hints of what to do with our old garbage cans, such as storing sports equipment in them. I have an aversion to throwing raw rubbish into my new, clean, very shiny garbage bin. It seems somehow slovenly not to have it tidily contained in a black plastic bag. I would quite like to have that blue Moscow urn as my garbage can: a thing of beauty on the alley. It just needs a lid.