Giving garbage a new image

City-owned garbage bins will be getting a makeover in Kamloops.

The city is expanding its Art Bins program, which started with local street artist Landon Muzio painting the dumpster behind Memorial Arena, which was often a target for graffiti and vandalism.

Marcia Dick, the city’s solid waste services analyst, says the response was very positive, so much so that eight more bins will be painted this month. 

"It's a very well-known strategy, to combat vandalism and graffiti," says Dick, noting it's similar to what B.C. Hydro does when it wraps its utility boxes with designs.

There's also a social aspect to the art project. When the four street artists gather Aug. 28, each will be accompanied by an at-risk youth, who will help in the painting process. The youth have been referred by three local agencies, including A Way Home Kamloops.

"These really positive experiences can have a significant impact on their lives," she says. "So we're just hoping they (the youth) can see the possibility of (channeling) their energy into a positive way."

The painting project is being funded by a $2,500 provincial grant.

Once all the bins are finished, the group will work with the business improvement associations and businesses to identify locations for them. 

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