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The trash can pilot program is a partnership among San Francisco Public Works, the Institute for Creative Integration (ICI), an industrial design firm, and APROE, a design and fabrication outfit. Both ICI and APROE are Bay Area companies with deep knowledge in industrial design and local issues. 

Public Works contracted with ICI to research successful trash can models in terms of functionality, materiality, cost and form. With that foundation, they developed several conceptual designs from which Public Works landed on three models. After approval from the San Francisco Arts Commission, APROE was engaged to develop construction drawings and then fabricate these three trash can models


San Francisco Public Works

San Francisco Public Works is one of the largest and most complex municipal operations in the City, with a 1,600-member workforce and a $384 million annual operating budget. The department's active capital project portfolio exceeds $3 billion. As one of San Francisco oldest City departments, it is also one of the most forward-thinking.


As a 24/7 operation with a diverse set of responsibilities, Public Works touches every neighborhood in San Francisco. The staff designs and manages construction of civic buildings and streets, cleans and greens the right of way, maintains civic buildings, trains people for jobs, keeps the right of way free of hazards, paves the streets, repairs bridges and public stairways, expands accessibility and works at the forefront addressing some of San Francisco’s biggest challenges, including homelessness.


The department is divided into four divisions – operations, engineering, architecture/landscape architecture and finance/administration – and the Director’s Office.


Public Works relies on a large roster of partnerships to help deliver programs and projects: nonprofits, contractors, other government agencies and volunteers. The core values of integrity, responsiveness and respect strengthen the department’s foundation.


Institute for Creative Integration (ICI)

ICI collaborates with clients to envision new products, services and business models that accommodate future human needs and transform behaviors.

ICI brings its client's visions to life by leading complex, multidisciplinary projects and through creative project management. ICI creates bold and integrated user experiences by focusing on people.




APROE is a San Francisco-based design and engineering firm specializing in services to help get products to market. Our work helps clients develop the technologies of tomorrow, whether it’s through our internal product and manufacturing division or by helping clients build out world-class research and development facilities to develop and test products themselves.


The APROE team understands that innovation is a process which requires persistence and attention to detail as well as flexibility and resourcefulness. For each project, we work closely with clients to manage and refine the project scope while staying on track to meet budget and project goals.


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