Fret not if you’re walking down Shop Street these days and find yourself accosted by the new superdooper solar powered state of the art spanking new type of street bins. The Smartbins are solar powered so that means they’ll be grand these days when you could fry an egg on the head of a tourist, but might be useless come the dark days of November when the birds are falling off the trees with the hunger…and the birdshot.
These five SmartBins which are being piloted in the city were designed by experts. For the purposes of information, an expert is just a local lad who went away. And these experts have determined that these SmartBins are twice as efficient at crushing up all the rubbish put into them and so need to be emptied once every two days as opposed to the bog standard bins which need to be emptied five or six times a day. Good news for the City Council lads who'll have a few extra hours in bed and needn't be stressed by early morning thoughts of overflowing bins. They'll turn over in their scratchers and say '”t's alright, Smartie will take care of it.”
Because they’re hungrier than your normal bin, you have to be careful when putting in your arm. One of them swallowed a crow last week and cats give them a wide berth. If you stand by them you can hear them chomping away, digesting the rubbish that you and I fit into them, emitting the odd electronic eruption and saying to themselves “good arse”.
The bins have wifi, so if you stand really closely to them, you can use your iPad, or laptop to download the really dirty stuff that only SmartBin-Wifi can give ya. They have their own Twitter handle @fullofcrap and have been known to send really inappropriate text messages late at night (in which case they’ve probably been hacked ).
The fat hungry SmartBins also have built in hard drives which can detect anyone dropping litter within a hundred metres, and they are equipped with a suitable set of phrases in a dozen languages to roar insults at the perpetrators, whatever the nationality. These phrases include “Sie würden es nicht tun, dass in Berlin, gobshite ya” (You wouldn’t do that in Berlin, ya gobshite ) and “Choisissez ce que vous, comme Thierry Henry, comme un bon garçon.” ( ‘pick that up like Thierry Henry did, like a good lad. ) Another one aimed at Americans 'Hey Chuck, we must have been separated at birth” was removed because of sensitivity, for danger of offending those people off the cruise ships, and because of all the US companies in Galway.
Because it’s Galway and the lads in City Hall who operate the bins are the same lads who have the great craic playing with the traffic lights at Red Light Central, they've programmed in some stock phrases to annoy passersby such as “Look, another flute in a Mayo jersey” and ‘jaysus look at that arse on that lads.”
The bins have been welcomed by Cllr Niall McNelis, the councillor with responsibility for fun — and ya know if he’s in favour of them, they must be great craic cos he’s constantly coming up with interesting and crazy ideas which if implemented at all would make Galway a mighty place to live.
The City Council has also programmed the SmartBins to heckle terrible buskers with 'what a load of rubbish” while it will help clear the city streets with “ have ye no homes to go ta?”
The sad news is that the SmartBins will only be here for five weeks, so if you want them to stay, you can play your part by hugging your Smartbin. Be nice to it, pat it on the head and make it feel wanted. Feed it. And if the sun shines and the streets stay clean, they'll be let stay to become icons like Oscar and Edvard.