Civic Futures Awards

Trash collection kiosks for people experiencing homelessness

City of Austin

Parks & Recreation Department

The problem

We wanted to create a way for individuals experiencing homelessness to bag their household trash, that didn’t require a daily or weekly handout of bags. We also needed a safe way for sharps to be collected and disposed of properly.

Solution / Approach

Design and create an onsite, non-permanent, trash bag kiosk dispenser so that people experiencing homelessness could utilize the bags to dispose of trash created. Secondly, design and create an onsite tamper-proof sharps disposal that would be safe for staff removing sharps for permanent disposal.

Core team
  • Wes Bickham
  • April Thedford
Key advisors
  • Office of Design & Delivery
  • Austin Parks & Recreation
  • Travis County Integral Care
  • Austin Resource Recovery
  • Austin Public Works
What can make it sustainable?

Dedicated funding for new trash bag kiosks/sharps container with the addition of sites in other high need areas to be added to the Austin Resource Recovery routes.

Advice to others

Add informational signage to the kiosk about the need and benefits of providing trash services at these locations.