Sunday, 15 May 2016

Big Belly bins in Nottingham

Been reading up about the "Big Belly" bins that have been installed in Nottingham for a while now....

The bins have a capacity of over 500litres, but this is increased by a factor of ~6 by the built in, chain operated, solar powdered compaction mechanism. In addition, the bins sense when they are 85% full and send a wireless signal to a control station requesting that they be emptied.

This combination of compaction and "empty on demand" is claimed to reduce the number of waste collections by up to 80% and largely eliminate the problem of overflowing bins, especially by fast food outlets.

A Big Belly bin, yesterday

Nottingham is leasing 130 of the bins in a 5-yr contract. Ian Greatorex, strategic finance manager for the council, told the Nottingham Post that the savings from not having to empty the bins as often should cover the £98,748 annual cost of the agreement.

Big Belly bins have been installed in many cities in the US, UK and elsewhere.

In Philadelphia, USA, the city installed 500 general waste bins and 210 recycling units on a lease-to-buy model. The city found collection frequency was reduced from 17 times a week to 5 times a week, resulting in a 70% saving in operating cost.

The University of Georgia, USA, has given a blowing testimonial to the bins - "Bigbelly has replaced 189 open top waste stations with 30 compacting waste and recycling stations on our campus here at UGA. With its ability to compact and send alert messages, we’ve been able to go from spending 30 hours a week to spending less than three hours a week in collection..."

One downside of the bins that is often commented on is that disposal of waste requires a person to actually touch the bin (or, more specifically, the bin door handle). Understandably, many people don't want to do this (or can't easily if one hand contains the rubbish and the other hand is holding, say, some food) so waste may get left on top of the bins. The situation gets worse if the handle is visibly dirty.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. I have always wondered what these bins did -I have seen these bins with foot operated pedals to eliminating touching the actual bin -I wonder if Nottingham know?