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New Product of the Month: Infrared Trash Cans

This just in: Garbage contains yucky bacteria. And garbage cans--oy, don't even ask. Awash in horrifying disease, to be sure.

But help is here: In this world, when each of us strives every day for a nirvana of ultimate safety and security, you can now assure yourself that you need never again touch a garbage can.

"No matter how clean your home may be, your garbage can will always be a hotbed for germs and bacteria," says a press release in support of a new product called the Nine Stars Infrared Garbage Can. "Nine Stars' patented infrared sensor detects movement within ten inches, triggering the lid to open so you can avoid contact with any lingering germs."

"We've taken away the pedals and the pushing and lifting of the lid to help you completely avoid germs," explains Nine Stars U.S.A. president and CEO Shi-Ping Wang.

Automated garbage can lids--have they finally gone too far?

By Marc Fisher |  February 28, 2007; 7:50 AM ET
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In a world where women cant be bothered, with gravity in their favor, to put down the dang toilet seat themselves then a self-opening trash can is not a step too far. Besides its not like we are losing a significant physical activity.

Posted by: Stick | February 28, 2007 8:05 AM

Go too far? This is so far off I can't see it.

Oh well, we probably had to get rid of those darn pedals to step on that opened the lid - they were not designed for the obese people stepping on them so hard.

Q: How does the garbage get out of the can in the kitchen and into the can that I put at the curb? Levitation?

Posted by: SoMD | February 28, 2007 8:05 AM

This is a waste.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 8:30 AM

When I saw the title of this post I was expecting a trash can that used infrared to sterilize itself. The automated lid was a major letdown.

Posted by: Fburg | February 28, 2007 8:42 AM

I thought it may have been designed using DOD specifications. It could detect infidels and eliminate them on the spot.

Posted by: Nuts | February 28, 2007 10:19 AM

Fburg, I had the same expectation. I once imagined a futuristic dishwasher that would vaporize all organic particles on the dishes. Of course, it would be hazardous to stick one's hand inside.

Posted by: Tonio | February 28, 2007 10:24 AM

Ridiculous, yes - but it will sell like crazy.

Posted by: frenchyb | February 28, 2007 11:14 AM

What whack concept will the Asians come up with next?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 12:24 PM

I thought that its infrared capabilities would let me see it in the dark. Oh well. I second the vote about using the infrared to kill the germs in the first place. That would be more practical.

Oh, and I've got to dispel the toilet seat myth: Toilet lids are not - NOT! - left up by inconsiderate men; they're left up by considerate WOMEN. Just sayin.'

Posted by: Rocco | February 28, 2007 1:02 PM

Clearly, this product was designed by an undercover agent for the raccoons. It's deeply disturbing that these rodents have infiltrated our garbage technology development to this extent. I hope someone has informed Homeland Security of this development.

Posted by: GP | February 28, 2007 1:02 PM

If this thing excites Marc so much, I'd hate to see him in a Discovery Store.

Posted by: Wow | February 28, 2007 2:32 PM

Sorry, but infrared isn't used to sterilize - ultraviolet is.

Posted by: Mr. Wizard | February 28, 2007 2:40 PM

But does it have the capability to produce a squirt of springtime fresh when the lid opens?

Posted by: Asking | February 28, 2007 2:49 PM

GP ... please be quiet; we are watching them. (You too)

Posted by: HS | February 28, 2007 3:19 PM

They already have technology like this in the Air and Space Musuem food court. It may not be infrared, but you do not have to push back the flap to dump you trash. It thanks you for the trash, then compacts it periodically.

Posted by: already have this | February 28, 2007 4:40 PM

I would like the technology that allows my refrigerator to coordinate with my stove burner so that when the infrared beam in my bedroom detects that I've rolled out of bed, my omlette would be ready in about ten minutes. But, a more important technology would be that when my front door opens in the evening, my refrigerator would have a cold, open beer awaiting me at the side of my recliner.

Posted by: Gizmo | February 28, 2007 7:30 PM

We've had an infrared-powered trash can in my kitchen for over a year and, despite its somewhat whiny operation, it works very well. It offers the advantage of hands-free disposal of, for instance, raw chicken parts/packaging, vegetable cuttings, etc. But the can is still a major topic of conversation when the uninitiated visit and take it for a spin.

Posted by: Oscar the Grouch | March 1, 2007 1:55 PM

How about a trash compactor suitable for disposing of mob informants?

Posted by: Tonio | March 1, 2007 2:09 PM

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