The city of Santa Monica and environmental group Heal the Bay have collaborated to place 500 new trash cans designed to encourage environmental stewardship along Santa Monica beach.

The trash cans are wrapped in colorful artwork aimed to reflect the playful nature of a day at the beach, while reminding visitors about the need to keep trash in its proper place, project representatives said.

The artwork includes a QR code linking smart phone users to the new Santa Monica Beachcast. Once on the mobile website, users have access to a variety of local content, including tips on how to keep the beach clean, a chance to sign up for beach cleanups with Heal the Bay, the latest weather and water quality conditions, community Twitter updates, and important information about the beach, Santa Monica Pier and emergency contacts.

The SM Beachcast also invites users to upload and share their favorite beach photos through the smart phone app, Instagram.

“Our beaches are wild open space, as famous as any national park, and protecting them is one of our highest priorities,” said Dean Kubani, director of the Office of Sustainability and the Environment. “This collaborative effort puts an exciting new twist on the vital public works infrastructure we provide every day to ensure that we ‘keep it out of the sand.’ We think we have the smartest beach trash can in America today.”

The initiative also involved DDB LA, a global advertising firm whose creative team developed the trash can wraps and Beachcast website.