Bomb-proof bins planned for London streets

The target of terrorists for decades, London has long been a city lacking in bins, as authorities fear they could be used to conceal bombs.

The financial hub of the city will soon overcome this issue, however, when it installs dozens of bomb-proof bins which manufacturers claim can absorb even the strongest blasts.

The bins will also neatly circumvent advertising restrictions within the Square Mile - an area where heritage considerations still rule - as each comes equipped with an video screen which will display a 'financial news channel' which will also include messages from corporate partners, who will pay the company installing the bins, Media Metrica, to publicise them.

The company also plans to charge news agencies to run feeds on the screens.

The City of London Corporation has signed a deal for the installation of the bins, with Renew agreeing to recycle the content, and the first bins are expected to appear on the streets in January.

While high-tech bomb-proof bins with video screens sound expensive, tax payers can rest assured they won't be expected to foot the bill.

The system will be manufactured, transported, installed, cleaned, maintained, insured and repaired by Media Metrica for clients free of charge, in return for the right to manage the back-lit information panels that house the recycling units.

KIaveh Memari, one of the company's founders, said that the bins helped reduce two problems at once.

"The 400 million tonnes of rubbish produced in the UK each year represents one of the country's main strategic environmental challenges," he said.

"London alone produces enough litter to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool every four hours.

"With pressure from the EU growing, Downing Street has warned that the UK faces fines of £500,000 a day if EU rules on landfill sites are not met by 2008.

"What makes [these bins] truly different is the opportunity [they] provides to environmentally-aware brands to help finance the regeneration of our cities in a way that also benefits their reputation and standing.

"[They] will provide the UK's media market with a truly innovative advertising platform, while offering local authorities an unprecedented solution to the challenge of on-street litter recovery and recycling free of charge."

Sam Bond



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