We are looking for artists and designers to help transform the recycling and general waste bins in the West End of Dundee.

In February, as part of Dundee Decides, people all across the city people voted for projects in their local areas. In the West End, one of the winning projects was “Improvements in Perth Road District Shopping Area”. As part of this, we want to bring the on-street bins to life, applying designs and artworks to them. This will create an amazing visual spectacle as you walk up the Perth Road area and encourage people to visit.

The Euro bins on Perth Road are a recent intervention to the streetscape. The aim of this exercise is to transform these objects into pieces of artwork. By painting these bins it is hoped that they become colourful, jewel-like, points of interest within the street.

This project has been created to strengthen the identity of the Perth Road shopping area. This shopping district is known in Dundee for its independent shops and the aim is to emphasise this sense of independence through the artwork. It is not the intention to create an overall branding for the shopping area, but to connect the street to the arts and culture of the local area.

We are looking for artists and designers to paint the general waste and recycling bins from the Tartan Café up to Sinderins junction. There are 17 bins in total, made up of 3 different types; general waste, paper recycling and mixed recycling (metal and plastic). The bins vary in size and shape so any design or artwork must be scalable to accommodate this. There are also a variety of bin arrangements, some sitting individually, some as pairs. Therefore, we will be inviting some artists/designers to paint multiple bins that sit side by side. Take this into consideration when creating your concepts for submission and explain how yours would work across multiple bins if required.

Each successful artist/designer will be awarded a fee of £300 per bin. Please also note that artists/designers must supply their own materials.

When applying, each artist/designer can submit up to 3 concepts. You will have to select a bin category for each of your concepts. Each category has slightly different requirements, explained below.


General Waste Bins
12 of the 17 bins are general waste, arranged singly or in pairs. You are able to paint all 4 sides of the bins but the lids will need to remain untouched. There are no restrictions on what the artwork or designs for these bins should contain, artists/designers are free to submit anything they feel would work well when applied to the surface of the bin(s). It is not necessary for artists to feel obliged to produce themes connected to Dundee’s history or tourism ventures. Any concepts likely to cause offence will not be considered.

Paper Recycling Bins
These bins need to be recognisable as paper recycling and any artwork/design needs to incorporate the blue lid colour. The lid of the bins must remain untouched so your concept can only take into consideration the 4 sides; There are 3 paper recycling bins in the project area, we will be selecting 1 artist/designer to apply their concept across all 3. We are not necessarily looking for overly literal concepts like pictures of newspapers etc. but the design should help to identify the bin usage.

Please look at a more graphical or abstract approach to your submissions for this category. The design is to help to avoid cross-contamination of waste products between the different bins. Due to this functional requirement, representatives from Waste Management from within the Council will be consulted on the appropriateness of designs.

Mixed Recycling Bins
Again, we are not looking for necessarily overly literal concepts like pictures of tins and plastic etc., but the design should help to identify the bin usage. A more graphical approach is being sought for these bins to make them recognisable as mixed recycling. Any concept for this category will need to incorporate the maroon colour used in the lids but the lids themselves will not be able to be painted.

There are 2 mixed recycling bins in the project area and we will be selecting 1 artist/designer to apply their concept across both. The design is to help to avoid cross contamination of waste products between the different bins. Due to this functional requirement, representatives from Waste Management from within the Council will be consulted on the appropriateness of designs.

Submission Requirements

You don’t have to be a professional artist or have created street art before to submit an application, anyone can apply to paint a bin. Here are the things we’ll need from you:


  1. Up to 5 relevant examples of your previous work – These will help us see the style and quality of your work. When uploading the files, you have to include your name in the file name and number them 1-5. No visual concepts for the bins are to be included in your images.
  2. A written description of your concept – the inspiration behind the piece, what it would look like and details on the materials, technique and process you would use and how you see it scaling across multiple bins.
  3. Social media and/or portfolio details – These will help us look more broadly at your previous work.
  4. Full name (billing address name), address, phone number and email address. This information will be used to contact you if you are successful in your application. Contact details of unsuccessful applicants will be deleted unless the artist wishes the information supplied to be kept for other future opportunities.

Things to bear in mind


  • The project is open to all artists and designers, professional and amateur.
  • Concepts must use all 4 sides of a bin and must not be applied to the lids.
  • The bins will need to withstand constant use by the public and refuse collectors and will need to withstand the elements. Please choose your materials to be of a lasting quality. Proper preparation and application methods must be fully adhered to so that the finished product will last in a harsh outdoor environment and general misuse. Please note that the bins are handled without a great deal of care and the wear and tear from associated machinery during collection is unavoidable. Please design your work with that knowledge and be aware of where the bins receive regular damage.
  • Preference will be given to local (Dundee and immediate surroundings based) artists
  • Whilst you are free to submit any design you like, be aware that they will be on public view with people of all ages viewing them.  Concepts likely to cause offence will not be accepted.
  • You will retain the copyright of your work but the clients, project managers, and funders reserve the right to digitally reproduce the artworks in any format for publicity purposes.
  • We will require you to sign our copyright agreement stating that all work is your own and anything you produce does not infringe on anyone else’s copyright.
  • Materials are not provided. 
  • Winning artists/designers will be awarded a fee of £300 per bin. 
  • Artists/designers will be paid in two parts, an advance payment of £75 to purchase materials and a final payment of £225 upon completion of their work. If an artist is unable to complete the work to the standard required, they will not be paid.
  • If you are chosen to paint a bin you must complete it by the 12th of August or you will not be paid, however should there be any unfortunate circumstances that causes delay to the completion of your work you must contact the organisers in advance to discuss alternate arrangements.
  • Successful artists/designers will be applying their designs/artworks at the Marchbank Waste Depot at 34 Harefield Road, Dundee, DD3 6EZ. Please ensure that you are able to arrange transport to this location.
  • You will only be able to gain access to paint your bin(s) during the hours of operation of the depot. 

How to Apply

You will need a Google Account to use the submission form. The deadline for submissions is midnight on the night of 4th of July 2018. Successful artists will be notified by the 11th July. Good luck!

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If you have any questions about the project or submissions then please get in touch using wasteofspacedundee@gmail.com