A South Okanagan “Garbage Gobbler” claims another unsuspecting victim in the 1970s. B.C.’s unique roadside garbage receptacles were in place from the late 1950s to early 80s. (B.C. Dept. of Transportation / Patrick Selby / Facebook photo)

A South Okanagan “Garbage Gobbler” claims another unsuspecting victim in the 1970s. B.C.’s unique roadside garbage receptacles were in place from the late 1950s to early 80s. (B.C. Dept. of Transportation / Patrick Selby / Facebook photo)

Do you remember B.C.’s ‘Garbage Gobblers’?

The 70s were a different time…

If you’re old enough to remember a time when people dared to leave the house in bell-bottom jeans, you’re probably also old enough to remember B.C.’s fabled, quirky roadside installations dubbed “Garbage Gobblers.”

The unique roadside garbage receptacles were created in the late 1950s by Len Shaw for the B.C. Parks Branch, according to the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Gobblers were placed across the province in B.C. Parks and at information points along the province’s highways in order to “Keep Beautiful British Columbia Green and Clean” by encouraging people to properly dispose of trash.

At the time the Garbage Gobblers were installed, it was common to dispose of trash by simply tossing it out the car window, noted a commenter on a recent photo of Garbage Gobbler in a Facebook group dedicated to historic photos of British Columbia.

‘Junior Garbage Gobbler’ trash bags for cars were also part of the provincial litter reduction strategy. Motorists were encouraged to feed the “Junior” bags to the roadside gobblers along their travels.

However, the Gobblers turned out to be an ill-fated experiment, as they only ended up compounding the roadside trash issue.

Originally made from concrete and later with fiberglass, the Garbage Gobblers were designed with open backsides, attracting animals and causing large amounts of trash to pile up around them.

The Gobblers were replaced by the B.C. government with bear-proof canisters in the early 1980s.

Fortunately for enthusiasts of surreal environmental installation relics, a handful of vintage Garbage Gobblers can be found throughout the province. According to the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, there’s even one somewhere in Penticton.

Have you seen Penticton’s own Garbage Gobbler? If so, we’d like to know where he’s been hiding this whole time.

READ MORE: Cannonball rock formations unique to Summerland



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

British Columbia

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, Tuesday, June, 12, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Okanagan-Shuswap real estate market continues hot start to 2021

Sales in February were up more than 100 per cent over last year, reports the Association of Interior Realtors

Const. Kevin Fuglewicz is the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP’s newest member of its Downtown Enforcement Unit. (Vernon North Okanagan RCMP photo)
Vernon RCMP add new downtown unit member

Const. Kevin Fuglewicz joins Downtown Enforcement Unit for rural north operations

The District of Lake Country has placed load restrictions on city roads due to early warming weather. (Black Press file photo)
Load restrictions set on Lake Country roads

A 70 per cent axle weight restriction has been implemented to protect roads during warming weather

Okanagan high school girls volleyball players Georgia MacLean of Lake Country’s George Elliot Secondary (from left), Olivia Pederson of Vernon Christian School, Kassidy Schaper-Kotter of Vernon Secondary and Makenna Lane from W.L. Seaton Secondary have signed to play college volleyball with Abbotsford’s Columbia Bible College. (File photos)
Fraser Valley college inks quartet of Okanagan recruits

Columbia Bible College Bearcats in Abbotsford sign four players to women’s volleyball squad

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

A protest has been planned for March 5, 2020 over Penticton council’s decision to reject an application from BC Housing to keep an emergency winter shelter open over a year longer than originally planned. (Jesse Day - Western News)
‘Bring your tent’: Protest planned in Penticton’s Gyro Park over winter shelter closure

Protesters plan to show council ‘what the result of their decision will look like’

Although B.C. has not made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces, some business owners are requiring all customers to wear them before entering their store. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
EDITORIAL: Heightened tension over face masks

Incidents of anger and conflicts over mandated masks happening too frequently

John Hordyk said it isn’t fair to just look at COVID-19 deaths as many survivors are experiencing long-term impacts, himself included. (Photo by Rachel Muise)
Not getting better: Revelstoke man diagnosed with post-COVID-19 syndrome

‘I hope the damage isn’t long term, but it could be permanent’

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki responded to BC Housing minster David Eby’s remarks that the city has put themselves at risk of creating a tent city Wednesday, March 3, 2020. (Western News file photo)
Penticton mayor calls out BC Housing minister for ‘irresponsible fear-mongering’

Council recently rejected BC Housing’s request to keep a winter shelter open longer than first planned

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

Most Read