Voting day looms for Hamilton’s giant gas ball
The globe painted to show the city at the centre of the world is now facing off against hundreds of North American tanks in the oddest industry-run contest you’ve probably never heard of
NEED A BREAK from the city election? Another vote looms that proud Hamiltonians may not know about: our sewage-gas globe is up for Tank of the Year.
The recently repainted, eight-storey-high globe — which reminds highway drivers daily that Hamilton, not Hogtown, is the centre of the world — is competing for bragging rights against 269 probably much more boring tanks across North America.
The gas ball was built in 1972 and the world’s continents and oceans are painted on it — along with a locator for “Hamilton” proudly spelled out in nine-foot-high letters.
The annual contest is sponsored by industrial coating company Tnemec and recognizes the “esthetic, creative
“We thought with that cool design ... we should get it in there.” ANDREW ROGERS
Tnemec marketing manager
and innovative uses of its coatings on water storage tanks.”
Hamilton’s orb was nearly disqualified on a technicality because it is filled with methane captured from sewage treatment — not water, like almost every other tank in the contest, said Tnemec marketing manager Andrew Rogers.
“That was a big topic of discussion,” admitted Rogers, who added Hamilton’s globe is one of only two methane tanks in the running. “We thought with that cool design ... we should get it in there.”
Rogers said Hamilton also has one of relatively few Canadian tanks in the obscure-sounding contest, which has nonetheless attracted 8,000 votes so far. You can view the competition and vote at http://www.tankoftheyear.com. The tank with the most online votes by the Oct. 19 deadline will earn the People’s Choice award and an automatic spot among a group of 12 tank-tastic finalists — all of which will be featured in a 2019 tank calendar. Last year, the winning entry was a 500,000-gallon “legged tank” based in Florida that included a mural showcasing beach chairs in white sand and an ocean view.
Hamilton’s tank is more Rubenesque than leggy. The spherical shout-out to Hamilton was the brainchild of former mayor Vic Copps — and residents apparently love it, based on the outraged reaction a few years ago to the idea of selling advertising on the globe.
City sewage planning director Mark Bainbridge called the contest “great exposure” for the city and nice validation for the effort put in by the contractor, Landmark Municipal Services, on the new paint job. The project cost about $3 million.
The giant methane ball in east Hamilton’s Globe Park is a landmark that many highway commuters will recognize.