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Mary Bates Neubauer


Mary Bates Neubauer designed and created this series of eight side-by-side metal recycle/waste bins for the south bank of the Arizona Canal in the Scottsdale Waterfront area of Old Town between Goldwater Boulevard and Scottsdale Road. The bins have a double layer of steel sheet metal, the top layer including tracery designs that are powder-coated in bright contrasting colors.

“The Traceries project promotes civic energy, optimism, and beauty through the use of pattern variation, complementary color, feeling tone, and nature-based designs,” Neubauer said. “Distinct design work and vibrant color combinations put a focus on cutwork-style tracery patterns based on my underlying fascination with tilings and tessellations. These repeating, rotating, scaled patterns were derived from vector files of both natural flora and fauna and abstract themes to create flowing design geometry expressed as decorative panels overlying the basic structures. The themes include the Ariadne butterfly, the coreopsis (a desert flower), a whirling impeller, and the broad-billed hummingbird.”

Project Background

Scottsdale Public Art teamed with Scottsdale Solid Waste Services for this project. Both organizations wanted to address the city of Scottsdale’s need for a utilitarian recycle/waste bin while also adding public art features to the canal waterfront. Three artist finalists created design proposals to display during Canal Convergence 2018, where members of the public had the opportunity to vote for their favorite designs. Neubauer’s design received the most votes, and she was chosen to design all eight bins.

The Scottsdale Waterfront hosts many events, including Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light, where Scottsdale Solid Waste Services and Scottsdale Public Art team up each year in an effort to make it a zero-waste event. By adding these permanent bins along the canal, it will bring the event one step closer to this goal and encourage recycling on the waterfront year-round. Solid Waste Services also supplied metal from decommissioned trash bins to create the new bins, adding an additional recycling layer to this sustainability-focused initiative.

This artwork contains AR components.

Meet artist Mary Bates Neubauer as she shares the story behind these beautiful recycling and waste bins.

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Location7124 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA

ArtistMary Bates Neubauer

DatesCompleted May 2020

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