Philadelphia now the city with a BigBelly

Devon Braunstein ('10)/Eastside Community Editor

Philadelphia has recently installed new, revolutionary trash cans around Center City. Entitled the BigBelly, the trash container can indeed hold a lot of trash. Each trash can has a solar panel that powers a trash compactor, allowing the bins to accept four to eight times as much waste before being full, according to philly.com. This efficient aspect of each BigBelly reduces the amount of times the cans have to be emptied from 19 per week to only five times per week, thus saving staff time, fuel costs and greenhouse-gas emissions.
Throughout the week, as the containers fill, a sensor will change from green to yellow to red. When it reaches red, the BigBelly’s wireless apparatus will alert Streets Department Headquarters.Philly.com reports that by July, 500 BigBelly “ecostations” are to be installed between South and Spring Garden Streets from the Schuylkill to the Delaware and of those, 500 will be accompanied by recycling bins. The recycling bin companions will mark the debut of “on-street recycling” in Center City. These bins could prove to be economically efficient in addition to the trash cans, as land filling is more expensive than recycling.

The BigBelly containers will end the city’s problem of overflowing litter baskets, which have attracted rodents and filled with rain. The new containers, made of sheet metal cloaked in heavy plastic, are meant to last eight years.

The BigBelly additions to Philadelphia will help the city accomplish the goals in its Greenworks plan, increasing the overall amount recycled in Philadelphia.