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New Yorkers Swim In A Bin

 

Updated : Jul 23, 2009

A handful of inventive New Yorkers have dreamed up an ingenious idea for getting relief from the summer heat, filling reclaimed trash dumpsters with water to create an instant urban oasis.

The improvised swimming hole in an industrial section of Brooklyn also has given a new meaning to the age-old term "dumpster diving," which until now referred to the New York bric-a-brac hunter's past-time of wading into refuse-filled containers in search of still-usable furniture and other discarded treasure.

But three inventive architects hit upon the idea of creating a community swimming pool in Brooklyn from unused trash containers for a new kind of dumpster diving.

The trio, part of the Macro Sea design firm, borrowed the giant, brand-new containers from the manufacturer.

"We put sand down to the bottom, then we put a top over that, then we put the water in -- it's 80,000 gallons," explained Jocko Weyland, artistic director at the company.

He said filters were used to keep the water swimmable, and wooden decks constructed around the dumpsters for functionality and esthetic appeal.

The pools provide an appealing, close-in site for recreation and keeping cool -- a priority in a city where relief at the beach from the summer heat is a hours-long drive or subway ride away.

Another selling point is that the makeshift pools can be situated in any under-utilized alley or cul-de-sac, converting even the most inhospitable corner in a welcoming retreat.

"We decided to do this this summer, as an experiment of something you can maybe do in a parking mall in a street mall, in a big shopping center area that's been abandoned or that's been closed because of the economy," said Macro Sea's director David Belt.

Trendy New Yorkers and convinced boosters insist dumpster diving sure to be the next wave. But for all it selling points, the past-time is still more a concept than a reality.

The water-filled containers in Brooklyn are a one-of-a-kind experiment, despite being a runaway hit in the community. And only a handful of residents have actually have access to the pool, which will be dismantled at the end of the summer.

But David Belt, Macro Sea's director said he is certain that dumpster pools and dumpster diving will be back next year -- and by then, could be all the rage across New York.

"It's part of a bigger project," said Belt.

"In this country there are a lot of abandoned street malls and shopping centers and we try to think of ways to reuse this junky space in an interesting way," he said.

 

 

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