They are meant to bring an end to the thousands of pieces of chewing gum unceremoniously being spat out on our streets.
But within a week of the Gumdrop bins being put up by the council in Cardiff, many of them are being used as glorified ash trays and rubbish bins while some have even gone missing.
Despite their dubious beginning, Cardiff council has defended the project saying the bright pink bins have, in fact, had a “brilliant start”.
Officials last week installed the innovative bins – which recycle gum into a rubber-like material that can be used to produce products such as car tyres and mobile phone covers – at 80 sites in the centre of Cardiff and 20 more throughout the rest of the city.
Their introduction was welcomed by an environmental group and city traders.
But Alan Griffiths, chairman of the Cardiff Market Traders’ Association and owner of AW Griffiths butchers, did warn whether the public would take to the project.
“It’s a good idea but whether people use them is something we’ll have to wait to find out,” he said.
“People don’t use the cigarette trays on the top of bins so whether they’ll use these is another question.”
And it appears Mr Griffiths’ doubts have some substance.
Full time mum Rhiannon Long, from Cardiff, told the Echo she can’t help but feel that the habits of the city’s litterbugs is unlikely to change following the scheme.
“People who put their gum on the floor are always going to put their gum on the floor. We’ve already got bins, this is a waste of money,” she said.
However, the scheme was yesterday defended by the council and by city traders.
A spokeswoman for the authority said: “The Gumdrop bins in Cardiff have only been in use for one week and many of them are not yet fully installed.
“Already, the majority of them have been well used for gum disposal and it has been a brilliant start to a very innovative scheme.
“We anticipated that some bins may get damaged or removed however it is important to remember that this is a trial and, over the next few months, these matters will be assessed and adjusted to make the initiative fit for the city centre purpose.”
David Hughes-Lewis, of Cardiff Retail Partnership, added: “This is a wonderful idea and I hope people use them.
“It was only brought home to me just how dirty it makes the streets of Cardiff look when a friend of mine visiting from South Africa pointed it out.”