Friday, October 24, 2008

the riddle of the sphinx

When I first visited Melaque, I noticed these odd metal devices at regular intervals along residential streets.

My first guess was that they were some form of charcoal burners to grill meat. But they did not look like barbecues. Where was the ash? The char marks? And in front of the house?

Some type of device to hold festival materials?

Flower pots?

Public sculpture?

Of course, those of you who have been around the ways of the world more often than this shy boy from rural Powers will recognize one of the most sophisticated of Mexican inventions.

They are garbage pails. Put the garbage in daily. It is collected daily.

Great idea. Nicely executed.


Michael Dickson said...

I´ve never seen that specific design but you will find the concept in other areas. The purpose is to get the trash bags off the ground and away from dogs, cats, rats, etc.

Brenda said...

Very good creations as the dogs can't get into them and strew the garbage all over.

Islagringo said...

Similar ones to these were placed all around the island by our previous mayor. We all thought Great! The two problems with them are that they will only remove stuff from them that has been placed in a bag, not stray pop bottles, etc. Secondly, they have now all rusted and are mostly lying on the side of the road.

Babs said...

Sphnix? ARe you making up words now......just to dazzle us?

Jonna said...

I think their main function is to keep street dogs out of the garbage.

glorv1 said...

I really like that idea abd I like the way it looks. I can visualize a beautiful planter in there. I want one. Thx for sharing. Have a great weekend.

Laurie said...

I agree that I haven't seen that design. And like the others, I know it's because of the rat and dog problems. In Honduras, if the trash cans were not bolted to the street, someone would take them. Or like they say, "borrow them."

Theresa in Mèrida said...

I have never seen them before. If I had seen them in a shop I would have thought that they were a planter or something that a fruit stand would keep fruit in to sell. Here in Mérida people just stick their trash in my windows. I have actually seen signs that say "This is a WINDOW not a garbage can!!!". It mostly happens when you live "close to transportation" (in front of a bus stop).

aighmeigh said...

It's a very aesthetically pleasing solution to a not so pleasing problem! I really like the design... functional simplicity!

American Mommy in Mexico said...

I have not seen that where we are and would not have guessed to use either

Steve Cotton said...

Michael -- What I really like is that they are functional and a bit artsy. What Santa Fe would look like if run by Germans.

Brenda -- My dog has never been much interested in garbage -- unless it involves bread.

Wayne -- It appears we west coat people simply have more couth.

Babs -- Just testing to see who reads the titles. Or, as you would say: ha!

Jonna -- And that appears to work. They are well-designed to avoid dog dumpster-diving. Maybe even rats. Strangely, the sea birds do not seem to visit them. Odd!

Gloria -- They would make great gardening devices.

Laurie -- I doubt anyone will borrow these.

Theresa -- Fruit! Now there is a new alternative. And I can easily see it.

Aighmeigh -- They are aesthetic. That was the first thing that caught my eye. They almost appear ritualistic.

American Mommy -- We continue to learn with one another.

Michael Dickson said...

"This is a window, not a garbage can." I like that. Unrelated to the topic at hand, but certainly germane to the field of Mexican life, is a sign on a major thoroughfare in nearby Morelia. It says:

Traffic lights are not decorations.

In Spanish, of course.