A recently-emptied 'deposit shelf'. Photo: Justin Cremer
Over the summer, Copenhagen city officials installed ‘deposit shelves’ on rubbish cans in three locations in the capital. The idea behind the shelves is to give people a spot to set their unwanted bottles and cans so that others can collect them for the one kroner deposit without having to roll up their sleeves and dig through rubbish.
The city’s deputy mayor, Morten Kabell, said the project would “keep the city clean and at the same time create a little more dignity for some of our marginalized residents.”
The idea has proven to be an unqualified success. According to a survey from the city’s technical and environmental committee, a full 95 percent of residents in the Danish capital support the deposit shelves and they have cut down on lost deposit by up to 49 percent.
The city has now set aside 1.2 million kroner to extend the project to 500 rubbish cans by the end of the year.
“Copenhageners have embraced the deposit shelves because they want to hand over their deposit in the right way. That means that we get a cleaner city and better recycling and that the deposit on fewer cans and bottles go to waste because they now end up with collectors rather than in the bin,” Kabell told Politiken.
The deputy mayor said that the simple shelves have made a huge difference and could serve as inspiration for other cities.
“We've been contacted by Frederiksberg, Aalborg and even Oslo, all of which have asked about our good idea and whether they could do the same there,” he told broadcaster DR.