By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Cities
Local community groups are doing their part to clean up the New York city's image by replacing overflowing trash cans with new self-compacting ones.
Forget skyscrapers and taxicabs, New York city can just as easily be known for its abundance of overflowing trash cans. However, local community groups are doing their part to clean up the city's image by replacing such eyesores with a high-tech solution.
The Fifth Avenue and North Flatbush Business Improvement Districts have placed orders for 26 self-compacting trash bins, which will be put to use at various street corners in Brooklyn's Park Slope and Flatbush neighborhoods. The solar-powered receptacles, developed by Big Belly Solar, are equipped with sensors that starts the compacting process the moment garbage starts to pile up, allowing it to hold three times more waste. It can also alert sanitation workers whenever it needs to be emptied. And when fully charged, the eco-friendly bins can operate for three days without sunlight.
Park Slope had six big bellies installed a couple weeks ago and the reaction from residents has been quite favorable-- although the technology isn't without it's detractors.
According to The Brooklyn Paper:
Oscar the Grouch isn’t the only fan. Local business owners especially like the cans because it will help eliminate garbage that blows in front of their shop, resulting in tickets.
“It’s an excellent idea,” said Linda Bugliese, co-owner of Bagel World at Fourth Street across from Washington (formerly J.J. Byrne) Park. “In the summertime, the streets are so dirty, you can see the trash rolling down the street. You don’t want your community to look like that.”
In addition to cleanliness, the cans also require fewer trash pickups, which reduces Sanitation truck emissions.
“The BID wants to go as green as possible, and these are the best,” said Greg Murjani, the legendary Mr. Rubbish, who extolled the numerous benefits of Big Belly as he installed the cans across Park Slope on Tuesday.
But not everyone is impressed by the Jetsonian measures.
“Did you ever look at what the public puts into these baskets?” said Harry Nespoli, President of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association. “They put in car batteries, large cardboard boxes, all kinds of stuff. I don’t think the compactor will make any difference.”
New York City officials had once considered replacing trash cans with the solar compactor but ultimately decided against it, citing that the $3,000 to $4,000 per unit price was too costly to be feasible.
Despite this, there is some indication that the technology can eventually turn out to be a money-saver. Last year, Philadelphia swapped out 500 trash cans with Big Bellies, a move that resulted in fewer garbage pick-ups and an estimated savings of $1 million in sanitation costs.
- China to develop a greener nuclear reactor
- New battery can recharge itself using sunlight
- Electric car batteries can now power home appliances
- France’s latest green idea: underwater nuclear reactors
- New invention turns plastic bags into oil
Photo: Big Belly Solar
Mar 6, 2011
If Mayor Bloomberg paid more attention to the problems in his city instead of traipsing all over the country committing fraud with his illegal gun sales, maybe NYC would not have the problems they have now.
Good for cleanliness but extends decomposition SIGNIFICANTLY. I remember the tree huggers up in arms with home compactors. I say...compress like hell and encase in melted plastic from grocery bags, milk bottles and all other killer waste streams Then build a yellow brick road everywhere.
This is a great idea however there is one major flaw, which by the way could be solved if the garbage system as laid out in the book "True Freedom - The Road to the First Real Democracy" were to be the starting point, and that is that these types of containers would work but most likely include the recyclable products as well. It is well known that recyclable products make up over 90% of our garbage and at some time we are going to have to learn how to properly deal with this stuff.