On August 15, 2011, I wrote — Is Graffiti Art or Degenerative Hatred? — because I was concerned with the defacing of some brand new BigBelly solar trash cans in Jersey City:

A week ago, in our Panopticonic blog, I wrote an article — BigBelly Solar Recycling in Jersey City — and less than a week later, those divine BigBelly landmarks in our urban core have become geographic eyesores as red graffiti pocks the new surface of the metal bins.

Here’s how one BigBelly was defaced by some noxious red graffiti:

Here’s what that same Big Belly looked like a mere two days after I wrote my article:

I love it that someone in power in Jersey City was reading my BigBelly articles!  There’s no such thing as a coincidence — those BigBelly trash bins were defaced for over a week, and within two days of writing my article, the graffiti was fixed, and that clearly tells me there is still a lot of power and persuasion left in the written word!  Jersey City is covered with graffiti that, in some places, has lasted for years on public buildings and bridges and schools — but when it comes to our new BigBelly bins being ruined by escapist miscreants — we won’t tolerate it!

Here’s a look at the second defaced BigBelly:

Here’s how that “fixed” Big Belly looked two days after I wrote my article:

Now that’s action!  That’s progress!  That’s Jersey City Morality in Action!

We could talk about the aesthetic effort of the cover-up — is battleship grey really the best choice to cover up the ugly red graffiti?  I would say, “Probably not, but ‘yes!'” if only because that sort of obnoxious, overdone, cover-up quite clearly says, “We have obliterated your childish ways.  We are sending you a message in the public square that we are denser than you, that we have better paint than you, and that we will not just paint over where you painted, we will expand and compress your effort with our greater mission:  To remove you from the face of the earth!”

I congratulate Jersey City for doing the right thing and covering up that graffiti with tremendous speed and purpose.  That effort sends a clear message to the citizens of Jersey City that the city really does care about us, and our environment, and that the graffiti thugs will never win against any BigBelly.


  1. It certainly is excellent, David — though I think a better message would be sent if they painted it back exactly as it was. “You may try to make our trash can your own but you can’t!”

    1. That’s a good point, Gordon. I inspected the cover up paint job yesterday and the original BigBelly “paint” isn’t really paint at all. It’s sort of a brushed aluminum. It’s quite beautiful and the bronze/brown “color that it is” is the color of the actual metal. Sure, they could have color matched the metal better with the paint cover up, but in feeling that grey paint, it has a texture to it that reminds me of the “anti-graffiti” paint I’ve seen used before in high traffic areas. If someone tries to re-graffiti the BigBelly, workers can just “wipe it off” without having to re-paint.

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