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CEO Of Soylent Dumps Big Red Container On Top Of Hill, Annoys Locals

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Robert Rhinehart, founder and CEO of Soylent, has annoyed a bunch of people in the Lincoln Heights and Montecito Heights neighborhoods after he'd put a huge, red shipping container on top of a hill, reports Curbed LA.

In case you're not in-the-know with Soylent, it's a kind of space-age version of Ensure. A bottle of Soylent contains soy protein and, according to the company's website, "one-fifth of all essential micronutrients." It's largely pitched to techies and other on-the-go individuals. Is there really a market for it? Apparently there is: in early 2015, the company received $10 million from investors who were looking to jump on the gravy train, according to Business Insider.

This is all to say that Rhinehart has made some money off his product. And, when a parcel of land on a hilltop was being auctioned off, Rhinehart thought "why not?" and dropped $21,300 on it. That piece of land sat on a hilltop that lies between Lincoln Heights and Montecito Heights. Locals have dubbed the hill "Flat Top," and had fought (and won) to keep out developers.

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What did Rhinehart want to do with his purchased land? He decided to build an "eco home," which turned out to be a hulking, bright-red shipping container. He portrayed his new toy as an experiment in "sustainable living." He told the Financial Times that he was living out of it, and that it was solar-powered and had no restroom (he uses a porta-potty). He also said that "the area’s still a little rough" and that his house got graffitied.


Not surprisingly, locals weren't too charmed about his makeshift home. They say that it's a huge eye-sore, and that it's been attracting dubious individuals. Also, Rhinehart threw a Fourth of July party at the container and left a huge mess behind. And, on top of everything, city officials say he doesn't have the proper permits.

Rhinehart couldn't understand why everyone was so peeved. "I feel like I'm living in the movie Brazil," he told Curbed LA. Which is to say he thinks he's living in a totalitarian dystopia where the citizenry aren't allowed to drop giant shipping containers wherever they please.

According to Curbed LA, he eventually relented and said that, at some point, he'll take the shipping container elsewhere.