Creating art to change public behavior


Today Mears Park in St. Paul is getting four new recycling bins.

Big deal, you say?

Not so fast, I say.

These bins were made by artists Seitu Jones and Marcus Young in a collaboration between the City of St. Paul, Public Art St. Paul and Eureka Recycling.

Christine Podas-Larson of Public Art St. Paul says it’s not about making recycling bins look pretty. Instead the idea is to get people in the park to be more aware when they recycle a plastic bottle or aluminum can. By drawing attention to the act (by creating an unusual, bubbly looking bin), Podas-Larson says people will slowly become more conscious of their choices, and will notice just how often they’re using containers that need to be recycled. Then, hopefully, they’ll reduce their consumption.

Ultimately, she says, the goal of the recycling bins is to work themselves out of a job.

A dedication ceremony takes place at 11am this morning, at which point certain “secret gifts” are being unveiled to the public to encourage them to participate in the “art of recycling.”

So, do you think it will work?