The original vision for CITIBIN was to create trash enclosures that were stylish and durable, an antidote to the cheap containers and sheds that literally littered the streets of New York City, detracting from the experience of walking the city's historic neighborhoods and diminishing the curb appeal of NYC's famed 19th-century townhouses, midcentury-modern apartment buildings, and sleek new developments.
But in the few short years since the company's founding, CITIBIN's product line has been modified and expanded to make it a truly modern outdoor furniture company—one that can add beauty, utility, security, and convenience to any property, no matter its type, size or location. And that's partly because of feedback from CITIBIN's awesome customers. CITIBIN CEO Liz Picarazzi explains how customer requests led to innovative new products. Read on to find out more. (And get in touch—we'd love to hear from you too!)
From the earliest prototypes of CITIBIN's trash enclosures, "I always knew that I wanted to have built-in planters," says Picarazzi. CITIBIN works closely with customers to customize product deliveries to their space, aesthetics, and other needs. In talking with one customer, Picarazzi sensed a kindred spirit and offered planters built into the back of an order of trash enclosures.
The customer loved the addition. "And that's become a distinctive feature for CITIBIN," says Picarazzi. "There are no other trash enclosure companies that have the option of a built-in planter. Generally, in New York, we don't have much greenery in our front area at all—there's not much space. Using vertical space, you can add planters on top of a trash enclosure, then you've not only concealed your trash, you've also beautified the area by adding greenery. It's really a total transformation." (Bravo's Andy Cohen agrees!)
CITIBIN's package lockers ParcelBin and ParcelDrop are a solution to the explosion in online shopping and at-home parcel delivery, which has led to an epidemic of porch piracy. They're truly modern mailboxes that will hold your packages on your property until you can securely retrieve them. And they were created after CITIBIN's staff assessed customer needs and quickly tweaked the basic CITIBIN trash enclosure for this new purpose.
"We developed the package lockers very quickly from modifying our existing product before mass producing it," says Picarazzi. "We only needed to make a few modifications, which is one of the great things about CITIBIN. We've been able to create product extensions just from the simplicity of making changes to our core product. And today, many of our customers get a combo unit that holds trash, recycling, and packages, all together."
Beyond that, ParcelBin is uniquely suited to the Airbnb revolution: "Airbnb hosts are always struggling with where guests can put their luggage when they arrive," says Picarazzi. "And Parcelbin is perfect for that—it's a large-sized package locker, and you can just give your guests the code."
The next step after package lockers: "Thinking about mail delivery and package delivery, wouldn't it make sense to have a mailbox on top of a package locker?" says Picarazzi. That customer suggestion led to CITIBIN developing the Mailbox, a secure receptacle for snail mail that can fit neatly above a custom configuration of ParcelBin, ParcelDrop and/or trash and recycling enclosures.
From the Mailbox, it wasn't that far a leap to CITIBIN's Storagebox, which also fits on top of a trash enclosure. "You can store your trash bags, gardening supplies, or your tool bag. I've got my power washer in there," says Picarazzi. "It came from thinking, 'What do people need at the front of their house, in an easy, simple, I-can-grab-it way?"
CITIBIN's latest customer-driven innovation: Modifying the XL Trash Enclosure to be a shed (or deck box, if you will). That provides convenient and stylish storage to match premium outdoor furniture, cushions, and accessories—everything from dining and entertaining items to hoses and gardening equipment and poolside toys. "That developed from a customer who has really nice outdoor furniture on their terrace in Manhattan," says Picarazzi. "Everything was carefully chosen—every piece, every plant. You don't want to put that in a Rubbermaid shed."
Another big advantage: Deck Boxes can also hold foldable bicycles or strollers securely and sturdily at curbside. (One preschool in Park Slope, Brooklyn, recently enlisted CITIBIN to provide secure, stylish stroller parking—"a real need in New York City!" says Picarazzi.)
Want to know more? Learn more about CITIBIN products here, or ask us a question in the chat window on the right!