Can the hi-tech BigBelly solar bin really save money when it costs £1,000 a year?

A high-tech waste bin called BigBelly is touted to save the government money by using solar energy to process garbage.

It is an expensive £1,000 a year device that the government will shoulder. But they say that this solar-powered bin would enable them to save considerable amounts of money.

BigBelly solar bins

The BigBelly solar bin harvests energy from the sun and uses that same energy to compact waste to an eight of its size. This solar-powered bin is currently being tested in Merton, south west of London.

The company that made BigBelly solar bin claims that it will reduce the frequency of rubbish collections by around 86 per cent. This is incredible considering that the bin derives its power from a small 12 volt battery.

And there’s more: the bin is designed to send a text message to its ‘owner’ or the one responsible for taking care of it, when it is already 85 per cent full and needs emptying. This is the most high-tech garbage bin in the world, indeed.

BigBelly 2013 pilot program

Actually, this ultra-modern garbage bin has been tried in the United States in April of 2013. There was a BigBelly pilot program in downtown area in Glenwood South, City Plaza in North Carolina. The program’s objective is to see if the city can reduce its cost of trash pickup in public areas.

There were 45 BigBelly’s deployed in major streets of the city, specifically the sidewalks in Glenwood South, City Plaza, NC Green Square, Hillsborough Street and other locations. The bins were also deployed in several parks in the city.

BigBelly solar bins has already saved cities 10’s of 1000’s

In the course of the trials, the annual cost of trash collection in the city was dramatically reduced from $40,903 to just $1,607. That is a considerable savings of $39,296.

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Following the trials, there were 32 conventional open-top trash bins that were replaced by 10 units of BigBelly stations. In the Glenwood South area alone, trash collections went down from $12,056 to only $115. That’s a whopping $11,941 savings annually.

The trial was even more beneficial to the city because of the reduction in fuel use and carbon emissions. At the same time, they were also able to reduce staff time for garbage pickups and equipment–based wear and tear on the streets.

“The Big Belly units have helped the City save money and made Downtown much neater by eliminating a lot of wind-blown trash from the open-top cans,” said Phillip White, Solid Waste Services Assistant Director, Raleigh City.

“You can’t ask for much more than that,” he added. White also attributed the success of their BigBelly program partly to the ‘Clean is Green Raleigh’ educational campaign partnership with the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

With this proven experience, the cities in the UK are set to achieve massive savings with the deployment of these BigBelly high tech garbage bins. The £1,000 a year tag price will be easily drowned by the huge amounts of savings that the cities in the UK will enjoy.

The Author

Hi, my name is Eddy and I am an editor and content creator working within the media release department at Australian Solar Quotes and American Solar Quotes. Within my work I strive to educate and inform others through my coverage of current news and events within the renewable energy field from around the world. I invite you to join the conversation by commenting below with your thoughts.

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