PSFK asks: Can transparency make us better citizens? They suggest that "these recycling bins in Tokyo's Shibuya Station force passers-by to acknowledge the amount of waste they and others are contributing, bringing the idea (and guilt) of over-consumption into public consciousness." Original source Future Perfect asks "to what extent is a consumer less likely to buy products with a social stigma such as a dirty magazine or more virtuous products when the act of consumption and disposal is transparent?"
I think they are reading way too much into this. In Toronto they changed the garbage receptacles to clear plastic bags for security reasons and they have the same amount and type of crap that they always did. In public places, nothing changes; now home recycling boxes, visible to your neighbours, that would be another story.... ::Future Perfect via ::PSFK