Uses sensors to alert when bins are full, reducing complaints. More
Bigbelly solar-powered compacting rubbish bins have been used in New Zealand, and around the world, for some time. Christchurch is the first major city in New Zealand to trial these compacting bins.
Each Bigbelly bin is equipped with a solar-powered compactor. A sensor inside the bin activates the compactor when the rubbish gets to a certain level. Crushing the contents enables a Bigbelly bin to hold up to six times more waste than a standard rubbish bin.
The bin sends real-time level data to a dashboard that lets contractors and city operational leaders know how full the bin is, and when it needs emptying. They can also use historical data to manage the waste management assets and process more efficiently. The system sends fullness alerts to contractors, so they know if a bin needs urgent attention.
A pair of Bigbelly bins, one for rubbish and one for recycling, was installed for a six-month trial at the New Brighton Whale Pool playground in February of 2017.
As a popular summer recreation spot, the playground was selected for the trial because it had a serious problem with overflowing bins. Contractors emptied the bins up to three times a day, but still couldn’t keep up with the rubbish. The wind and seagulls would pick up the litter and scatter it around. Residents and visitors frequently complained about the mess, smell, environmental impact of litter blowing into the sea, and potential health and safety risks for children using the playground.
The rubbish trial was a success, and the rubbish bin has been incorporated into Council’s operational service. Some of the key outcomes were:
The recycling trial demonstrated that more work is needed to get a sustainable public-waste recycling solution. Some of the key outcomes were:
The trial proved beyond doubt that compacting bins and prompt alerts for contractors make a big difference in waste management, especially in places where usage varies widely and large volumes of rubbish are generated quickly. More Bigbelly bins have been installed at high-demand locations around the city, including Sumner and Akaroa.