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Fellow Philadelphian here. I agree entirely, these are terribly designed and I hardly ever see anyone use these. The fact that much of Philadelphia is covered with trash is a testament to the fact that these have done very little to alleviate the issue.

The primary issue with these is that they have a user interface that increases the friction and time of throwing things away. Having to walk up and grab the handle (which is usually disgusting), throw in your garbage, and then close it, adds a small, though significant enough amount of time that most people can't be bothered to do it (many Philadelphians just throw garbage on the street). Additionally, it is difficult to throw away larger amounts of trash or loads that would require two hands to dispose of.

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