Need a Bin? Say No to Drugs. Be Happy.

FERO is a waste management company based in New Brunswick (the name, at least for marketing purposes, stands for Friendly, Efficient, Reliable and On-time). If you’ve hung out in the back allies of New Brunswick restaurants, you’ve likely seen their dumpsters, which, in addition to a large FERO and their toll-free number, are emblazoned with seemingly-random slogans.

Like this one, in the parking lot of the the Cranewood Bakery in Sackville:

A FERO dumpster with the slogan "Smile" painted on it.

(I love the “Tony’s Pastries Only” add-on: this is presumably a dumpster once used by Tony’s in Moncton).

This weekend I stumbled across the pinnacle of FERO slogans, behind McCready’s Irving in Coles Island, NB:

Photo of three dumpsters, each with a different slogan: Need a Bin? Say No to Drugs. Be Happy

Need a bin? Say no to drugs. Be Happy. Poetry.

A decade-old CBC story tells the story of the approach:

Fero, which operates across the region, puts its name and phone number on each dumpster.

But it also leaves space for messages, such as: Never Give Up, Seize the Day, Don’t Do Drugs, Stay in School, Smile, Be Happy and Safety.

Andrew King, the company’s director of special projects, said the staff draw up the messages on a computer and then print each one onto decals.

The messages are added to the dumpsters when they are returned to the shop for repairs or a new paint job.

If we can have an effect on somebody, somewhere, at some time, we thought that would be a great way to do it,” King said.

King said there’s no agenda underlying the messages or major commercial benefit to display them.

He said it’s just something that helps Fero — Be Happy.



vbj's picture
vbj on September 1, 2023 - 13:16 Permalink

This is a new genre for me (#literacymovesoutdoors). I've considered bumper stickers and digital highway messages, but never dumpsters. I like that the workers get to generate the messages and look forward to when they might move on from imperatives to questions.

Olle's picture
Olle on September 13, 2023 - 04:58 Permalink

Currently smiling.