My Innsbruck: I do not refuse the humour
It’s not really low humour, and besides, I’m not one to reject humour.
As an encouragement for everyone to keep the environment clean (aside from personal and collective responsibility), the ubiquitous red garbage or waste bins throughout the city of Innsbruck are all tagged with a succinct sentence that’s amusing and punny. I don’t abide by the stereotype that the German language can’t be funny; instead, the stereotype persists because of lazy ignorant thinking.
Many small red waste-bins or garbage cans are located throughout the Tirolean capital. With a real chance to causing double takes, the different sayings on the bins is a mix of Austrian German and English, encouraging residents and visitors to use them as intended. The bins are emptied when city staff open them from underneath. This “attraction to waste” is not a unique phenomenon, as various other cities employ a similar trick; for example, in Hamburg and Berlin. But when a waste-bin urges people to feed it, I find it hard to look away.
From over 1200 submissions for a public city-wide competition for the best slogans, 20 were selected and unveiled in autumn 2010 (Innsbruck informiert, 2010: 15 Sept and 6 Oct). Theses mottos are on hundreds of bins in the city. Below are 17 out of 20 for a 85% completion rate, which is pretty good for a few days in and out of town.