Garbage Gobbler


Here in the Resource, we’ve collected some nice examples of government-sponsored modernism (see the “Canada” wordmark, Canadian flag, Government signage, Parks Canada logo, Canada Post, etc.), but here is an effective bit of government-sponsored kitsch. Created in the late 1950’s, the Garbage Gobbler – basically a bug-eyed green garbage can cover with huge teeth painted on the push-in door (missing here) – was the heart of a BC Government campaign to raise awareness about littering and make trash cans fun. The popular Gobblers were installed throughout the Province and ‘Junior Garbage Gobbler’ car trash bags were distributed to motorists to discourage roadside litter.

Over time, the Garbage Gobbler was replaced with more practical designs (most notably, the bear-proof variety) and today, only a few still exist. The example shown here was recently restored and installed in Veterans Park, Langford, BC. The plaque at the base reads:

“Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the Garbage Gobbler was a popular landmark at British Columbia’s Provincial Parks and Information Points, for garbage disposal. A local product manufactured in Langford, the Gobbler was designed and created in the 1950s, by Len Shaw, for the BC Parks Branch. Originally made from concrete, and later with fiberglas, the Gobbler was fabricated in the Parks Branch workshop which was located on the present site of Veterans Park.

Local residents, Marilyn (nee Shaw) Fuller initiated the project, and Ian McKenzie and Ken Fuller, volunteered their time to refurbish this sample of the original Garbage Gobbler. “

BC150 Applied Arts Project

Commorative plaque, Veterans Park, Langford, BC.

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