It’s a dirty job … and the city is going to help do it

Rubbish vigilante Sandra Høj gets the city to commit to putting her anti-littering idea to the test

June 19th, 2012 11:09 am| by admin

After reporting last month that the Copenhagen officials had put the kibosh on one woman’s efforts to tackle litter, it appears the city has finally agreed to adopt Sandra Høj’s specially designed tubes for disposing of paper coffee cups.

The city has agreed set up16 aluminium tubes on Dronning Louise’s Bridge and Sankt Hans Torv, another popular hangout, later this month. Once they are in place, their effect on rubbish will be evaluated over the course of the summer before deciding whether they should be adopted permanently and rolled out city wide.

Høj came upon her idea after becoming “fed up with litter in Copenhagen”, particularly with the discarded paper cups around the bridge. Her solution: Test Tubes – two cardboard tubes capable of holding cups, which she screwed to two separate rubbish bins located on the bridge. 

Although the tubes had a noticeable effect on the amount of litter, the city initially removed them. It did express interest in the idea, and upon further review the city has decided to adopt it.

While Høj called the development “exciting”, she hopes that if the city chooses to make them a permanent fixture, that they make them out of a sustainable material such as plastic.

She added that during this summer’s trial, she would be experimenting the Test Tubes herself, tinkering with their design and coming up with the best way to get people to understand why they are there.

“It’s going to be an interesting challenge to try to figure out how to deliver the message: should I use text, images or both? I’m already playing with different concepts and ideas and can’t wait to put them into practice.” 

City officials, though, won’t be the only ones watching over the tubes.

... and the same spot before (Photo: Sandra Høj)

“I will be hovering over them,” she said, adding that foreign companies and cities had also expressed an interest in her idea.

“I have been contacted by a British trade magazine [Boughton's Coffee House] and they are running the tube story this month,” she explained. “It’s going to be on the front page!”

But even with the international attention, Høj said her primary concern remains keeping her city tidy. 

“Copenhagen truly is wonderful and deserves to be treated with respect,” she said. “It is all up to the people of Copenhagen now. I hope they play along. Fingers crossed.”

Read Høj’s blog at

Check out Høj’s test tube Facebook page at

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