Brooklyn Cleans Up Trash With Big Belly Solar Powered Cans

by , 03/02/11
filed under: Brooklyn,News

brooklyn, big belly trash cans, big belly solar, solar powered trash cans, green trash cans, brooklyn big belly trash cansPhoto credit: Kristen V. Brown

Twenty-six solar-powered self-compacting trash cans will soon be on Brooklyn street corners, thanks to two Business Improvement Districts. The North Flatbush BID will use $120,000 in capital funding from Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz to buy and install 20 Big Belly trash bins along Flatbush Avenue between Grand Army Plaza and Atlantic Center. The other six are courtesy of Park Slope’s Fifth Avenue BID, which recently bought six Big Belly bins and placed them at high traffic intersections on Fifth Avenue.

The high-tech trash bins, produced by Big Belly Solar, can hold three times as much trash as a normal receptacle, meaning less overflow garbage polluting the streets. When the bin gets full, internal sensors trigger the solar-powered compactor, which smashes down the trash. A full charged bin can be powered for three days without sunlight. The trash will still be collected by the city, but the compactor allows for less frequent pick-ups. The city of Philadelphia, where 500 Big Belly bins were installed last year, has reduced its number of weekly garbage pick-ups from 17 times a week to only five. Philly officials are projecting $1 million in savings thanks to the solar powered trash cans.

brooklyn, big belly trash cans, big belly solar, solar powered trash cans, green trash cans, brooklyn big belly trash cans

Residents of Brooklyn are pleased to see the eco-friendly trash cans. Prospect Heights Patch talked to local resident Jane Tomkiewicz who said the cans are awesome, and another resident told NBC Local that the bins are a great way to eliminate piles of garbage from the street.

New York City’s Department of Sanitation considered the Big Belly bins as a replacement for the current trash cans, but ultimately rejected the idea due to the high costs. The Big Bellies sell for $4,000 each, while a normal green NYC trash can costs $125. To replace all 25,000 trash cans in the five boroughs would cost the city 32 times the amount it current spends on trash receptacles.

For now, neighborhoods will have to bring in the solar powered bins on their own. Prospect Heights and Park Slope are not the first to do so — several years ago, Queens installed 50 of the Big Bellies and several were tested in Downtown Manhattan.

Via Prospect Heights Patch and NBC Local