Gallery: Nicole Howell’s ‘Toss With Care’ Trash Can Addresses Homelessn...

The Pratt Institute for Design is known for its phenomenal furniture design students as well as architects, artists, graphic designers, but for trash can designers? Yes, that’s right, recent graduate Nicole Howell turned her ‘Toss With Care’ trash can design thesis project into a full on mission to better understand homelessness in New York City, and along the way, she became fascinated with trash divers. Her project, Toss with Care, which developed out of her initial experiment the (trash)poline, was design to not only act as a traditional trash receptacle, but also a recycling can and a place for edible leftovers for street dwellers in search of food.

Read the rest of this entry »



  1. Jared Sessum February 9, 2015 at 11:19 am
    Feeding the homeless out of garbage cans is not a good solution. But retrofitting these bins to divide our resoruces such as recyclable metal/glass/plastic/paper and food scraps/soiled paper for composting is a brilliant idea. The initial intent is wrong, but the design is great!
  2. george434 March 29, 2014 at 9:24 am
    This is actually really sick. Just the idea that homeless people should be happy to eat garbage is callous and cruel, and making it look pretty does nothing to change that. These are people, not animals to look at and be "fascinated" by.
  3. Courtney Fromberg August 24, 2013 at 1:18 am
    I think that there\\\'s a more dignified way to design the platform of tossing food. Treat your brothers as you would expect to be treated. Let\\\'s go back to the drawing board. But it\\\'s a good start.
  4. Rose SPierre July 13, 2013 at 8:01 am
    Good-hearted gesture, but dangerous as well. It may not be the best way to preserve left over food for homeless people by conveniently separating food out of the garbage. Food born illness will develop in there quickly especially in warm weather and without refrigeration.
  5. Robert Stanley February 13, 2013 at 9:21 am
    I'd like to see Nicole eat out of one of her bins for a week & get back & tell us if she still thinks it's such a good idea. Sounds great in theory but so many humans are lazy & mean-minded that this will become a putrid mess.
  6. Henrietta Steel September 6, 2011 at 10:33 am
    What an awesome way to help people. People are digging through reg trash so at least someone is trying to help keep the trash divided and cleaner. Ideas like this start small then work the kinks out and get better. Great idea!
  7. GailNCalifornia June 18, 2011 at 3:06 pm
    To lazyreader's comment: you're right. There's nothing to stop people from abusing this arrangement,'s a step and an opportunity for people to do the right thing. We can never police every little thing. We can only present opportunities and hope for the best. Kudos to whoever came up with this. I hope we in LA follow suit.
  8. seamusdubh June 17, 2011 at 4:57 pm
    While good in concept and altruistic, it does nothing to actually solve the homeless problem. Giving them a slightly less contaminated source of refuse to dig through only perpetuates the problem. The real answer is not homeless sheik designs whitewashing the issue. But actual help and assistance in reintegrating the fallen back into society.
  9. lazyreader June 17, 2011 at 4:29 pm
    I like it. It's a good intention. But what's to stop vandals from simply dumping pet excrement or trash in the food bin. No one is gonna notice people from throwing things away; it's not a priority to address surveillance over city garbage cans.