Introduction: Trash Talk

About: I'm a stand-up comedian, I make stuff.

Ever wondered what a trash can would sound like if it could talk?

Well, here's your chance.

This is not a stupid instructable that tells you to glue eyes on a pedal bin to make it look like there's a silly little character from Sesame Street sitting on your bathroom floor. No! This is a stupid instructable that tells you to glue eyes on a pedal bin to make it look like there's a silly little character from Sesame Street sitting on your bathroom floor AND how to make the mechanism that makes him talk... The movement of the mouth, the voice you have to do yourself.

Step 1: Materials & Tools

Materials (pic 1 and 2)

  • a pedal bin (not shown in the picture)
  • 2 ping pong balls
  • 4 square angle brackets
  • a large hinge 40 mm width
  • a small hinge 130 mm length
  • a luster terminal
  • a bicycle brake cable
  • some wood screws
  • some nuts and bolts (not shown in the picture)
  • a PVC tube 50 mm diameter

Some wood. I used leftovers.

  • MDF 8 mm
  • Betoplex 15 mm
  • Multiplex 15 mm


  • Table saw
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Wood Glue
  • Glue (Tec7 our any other strong adhesive)

Step 2: The Mechanisme Inside the Bin

The mechanism in the talking bin looks a little like a penguin (pic 10). The beak of the penguin pushes open the lid of the bin. The "penguin" is triggered by a pedal sitting on the floor. That's right! I made an additional pedal for a pedal bin. This extra pedal enables you to control the movement of the lit. And the surprise for your audience is bigger when the bin starts talking and you're not touching the pedal of the bin.

1. Sawing all the wood pieces (pic 3)

The size of the multiplex for the body depends on the diameter and the depth of you pedal bin. The height of the body is the depth of the bin minus 40 mm. The nek of the "penguin" is 40 mm by 40 mm.

2. Gluing the beak of the penguin

The beak of the penguin is made of MDF. The easiest way to make this is to saw a long piece, width 20 mm, and then saw all the pieces out of this one. (pic 4)

  • 3 pieces of 15 mm
  • 3 pieces of 45 mm
  • 1 piece of 7 mm
  • 1 piece of 125 mm

Glue them together as shown in the picture (pic 4).

3. Assembling the beak

The lower part of the beak is screwed on the neck of the body (pic 5). The upper part of the beak is fixed to the neck with the little hinge (pic 6). Before you do that you must install the PVC springs. I used a PVC tube to make a spring that closes the beak. This pulls the brake cable back (more about this later).

Saw 2 pieces of PVC tube (pic 7). You need two pieces because one piece is not strong enough to pull back the cable. One pieces is 75 mm with a rim of 18 mm and the other is 65 mm with a rim of 10 mm. The width of the rim determines the strength of your PVC spring.

4. The rest of the penguins body

As your spring is in place now, you can attach the upper lip to the neck by using the little hing (pic 6). The rest of the assemble is pretty straight froward. Screw the angel brackets on the body of the penguin. Three of them are used to fix the penguin in the bin (to prevent him from escaping). One is used to position the brake cable (pic 11). Drill a hole in the back side of the upper lip and pull the brake cable through.

Drop the whole mechanism in the bin and fix it with some nuts and bolts to the angle brackets. Look... (pic 12) there 's a penguin hiding in the pedal bin.

Step 3: The Pedal (foot Controle)

The floor pedal is made out of betonplex. But any other kind of wood will do.

Saw all the pieces (pic 3)

  • 5 pieces of 25 mm width
    • 2 pieces of 210 mm length
    • 2 pieces of 70 mm length
    • 1 piece of 100 mm length
  • 2 pieces of 35 length
    • 1 piece of 100 mm width (make 2 notches of 25 mm by 15 mm)
    • 1 piece of 70 mm width (one side is 50 mm width)

Assemble these parts as shown in the pictures (pic 13, 14, 16). I know, picture 15 is missing. I don't know where it is... Maybe the penguin ate it.

Drill 2 holes for the brake cable. Pull the cable through it and hold it in place with a luster terminal (pic 17).

Step 4: Let's Talk Some Trash

Glue two ping pong balls on the lid and now you have a talking pedal bin. Great fun for kids and adults.

Do watch out, he has a dirty mouth!