Side Note

Live from the garbage: @trashcanlife is the best worst Twitter feed

Is this performance art? I’m pretty sure this is performance art.

This morning, I stumbled upon @trashcanlife, a Twitter account created by Enevo, a “waste technology as a service” company that, as far as I can tell from its website, puts sensors in trash cans and has trash get picked up on a slightly different schedule than normal. To that end, they started a Twitter account for their trash cans to cheerily tell the world important information about themselves. The account, and the data it offers, makes smart-trash technology seem like something that would inconvenience a character in a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book.

I know this might sound a little radical to all the techno-futurists out there, but we already have a really effective way of telling how much trash is in a thing, and it does not require cellular service. It’s called “looking in the trash.”

I have no idea why a person would need to know such information, but if you really need to know the temperature inside a thing with garbage in it, can’t you just open it up, wave your hand around inside it for a second, and see if it feels warm in there?

Perhaps the most impressive thing about @trashcanlife is that it’s been sending little messages about garbage into the void since 2014. I am convinced that this Twitter feed, as well as the company behind it, is an elaborate performance art project meant to dissuade people from ever connecting their trash can to the internet.