Trash in Style: Mural Arts reveals 50 Litter Critters

 In honor of Earth month this year, the Mural Arts Big Picture, an art education program that provides youth ages 10-14 with mural training and visual arts education, has made recycling and trash disposal more exciting to participate in through art.

In 2009-2010, the city put out 1,000 super-efficient BigBelly solar-powered compacting trash cans. This was part of a city-wide initiative to decrease litter and be more environmentally aware. BigBellies only need to be emptied once a day, and have helped the city reach an amazing recycling rate of more than 20 tons per day.

During October 2010, Big Picture artists Ben Woodward and Thom Lessner, and their students, got a hold of some of the city’s BigBelly cans. Since then, the team has decorated 50 BigBellies with captivating fluorescent graphic vinyl wraps, transforming each bin into vibrant “litter critters” that offer a fun reason for everyone to properly dispose of their trash.  

The installations can be seen along Headhouse Square and up South Street from 2nd to 10th Streets. If you happen to be in the areas, take a look at these imaginative creations.

The litter critters are an extension of Mural Arts’ Design in Motion recycling truck project that was completed in April 2010. The city-wide public art and graphic design project took 20 city recycling trucks and decorated them with artwork created by Big Picture students who utilized their study of textiles and the The Design Center’s textile collection to create one-of-a-kind vinyl wraps.

Stop by Headhouse Square tomorrow, April 27 from 4-5 p.m. as Mural Arts officially reveals the litter critters.

For more information about the BigBelly project or the “litter critter” scavenger hunt please contact Lisa Murch, Big Picture Program Manager, at