Solar Powered Bins Trial In Sydney

Solar bins in Sydney

Canada Bay in the Inner West of Sydney is now home to six solar powered Bigbelly garbage bins.

We first mentioned Bigbelly bins back in 2009 and it seems the company has been going from strength to strength since then.

Bigbelly features a solar powered compacting system that enables it handle to 5 times the rubbish of a similarly sized conventional bin.

A solar panel protected by a layer of polycarbonate is located on the top of the bin; supplying charge to a deep cycle battery; enabling the bins to operate in low light conditions and at night. The battery provides power to DC that runs a compactor exerting a force of  570 kg.

These are also pretty smart garbage bins. They can be monitored via an online portal to determine bin fullness, volume and subsequent traffic. The Bigbelly also sends an  email & text when the bin is 85% full.

These neat features are more than just toys. A bin that doesn’t need to be emptied means less resources used in checking it. Picking up a bin that’s full in a timely fashion can mean less littering in the immediate vicinity and subsequent cleanup.

It’s claimed the system can reduce street bin collections by an average 86%.

As these are just a tad more expensive than conventional bins, an optional feature is a security system to make the bins more difficult to steal or tamper with.

Each bin has separate compartments for recyclables and non-recyclables; both of which are monitored.

“We have been recognised at a state and national level for our commitment and innovation towards sustainability and this is another example,” said City of Canada Bay  Mayor Angelo Tsirekas.

Mayor  Tsirekas says benefits have been observed already, with collection trips at some stations down from seven a week to just two.

Canada Bay may be on track for similar results to a trial in Philadelphia some years ago that saw a 60% reduction in waste station footprint, an 82% increased collection efficiency, a saving of more than 120,000 litres of fuel a year and 335 tons of carbon emissions avoided annually.

Founded in 2003, Bigbelly says it now has more than 1,500 customers in 47 countries. The Bigbelly bin was recognised as the 2014/2015 Top Smart City Application in the Internet of Things Awards.