Visual impact reduction of waste containers in historical areas through different aesthetical cover solutions
Eradicating the visual impact of waste collection elements, as well as waste for the longest possible time in very sensitive areas in the historical area of the city is the aim of this good practice

The existence of waste containers in heritage areas causes a strongly negative impact. To overcome these issues, Porto, Cordoba and Krakow have implemented different aesthetical covers by developing decorative bunkers (Córdoba), housing solution (Porto) and aesthetic cover, called waste room (Krakow), with less visual impact than the waste containers in the street.
In case of Porto, housing solution consists is a metal structure fencing and hiding the waste containers. Solution developed in Krakow, named waste room, is a panelled structure attached to existing walls. Finally, Cordoba designs a full metal cover, like an extra bins, designed specifically for heritage area.

The cost of implementation and maintenance (especially acts of vandalism of bring-in sited containers and waste rooms such as burning, graffiti) may be a limiting factor for the installation of these elements; as well as highly restrictive procedures and rules connected with the implementing the new aesthetic solution in the Heritage City Centre (e.g. obtaining the approval of the urban conservator of monuments)

Resources needed

Approximately: 1,200 € for each complete container cover (Córdoba), 1.750 € for each panel waste room, 630 € for trash bin (Krakow) and 1.000 € for each structure (Porto).

Evidence of success

Elimination of the visual impact of rubbish and visual elimination of waste containers in the street and improvement of the waste management system’s urban integration, with a simple, minimal intervention. Moreover, a better image in the area is created for neighbours and commerce and also the comfort and satisfaction of tourists are improved.

Difficulties encountered

The main difficulty in this process was to find a solution that could solve the aesthetic problems of the collection point, keeping the surface waste containers and the same location and, simultaneously, improving the urban integration and minimizing the visual impact.

Potential for learning or transfer

Improving aesthetics of waste deposit elements, according to the historical and monumental environ is considered a benefit by the neighbours who use these elements, and by tourists who greatly appreciate the cleanliness of this special part of the city.
With minor works, installing a very simple structure, we were able to solve a problematic situation, overcoming the repeated aesthetic problems and integrating an element of the waste management system into the urban décor.
Working with tourism related economic agents is a positive experience, which helps to promote the city.

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Main institution
Sanitation of Cordoba
Andalucía, Spain (España)
Start Date
May 2001
End Date


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