Abstract In this paper, a design process of a mechanical device for concealing underground the urban solid residual containers is described. A computer aided design, with simulation and animation software, was used in this work. This software allows us to analyse the kinematics of the virtual prototype before producing the real one. Methodological process of the preliminary design, valuation of alternatives and the design finally adopted are presented. There is also special reference to the tribological problems found in the design. The design is an innovative solution, which also takes environmental issues into consideration: preserving monumental areas of the city, bettering the quality of life of the inhabitants and showing the local government’s concern regarding the environment. The design has been patented by the company that collaborated in the development.