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The BigBelly Program

How It Works

BigBelly™ Solar-Powered Trash Compactors

The solar panel on top of each trash bin collects and stores energy from the sun. When the trash inside reaches a certain level, it is automatically compacted. This process is repeated until the bin is finally full of tightly compacted trash and soiled paper - five times the amount a regular bin holds! A sensor in each bin enables the Streets Department to compare the fill-rate of the bins, so they can be re-positioned accordingly.

Regular bins always needed emptying up to four times every day, which meant lots of workers manning lots of trash trucks blocking lots of traffic and burning lots of fuel. By converting from wire baskets to BigBellies, collections are reduced from an average of 17 per week using three crew shifts to about 3 per week using one crew shift. This frees up time for Streets Department employees to tackle other issues. Overall, collection costs are reduced by over $800,000 per year.

BigBelly trash bins are definitely the wave of the future, and Philly is one of the national leaders in adopting them.

On-The-Go Recycling Stations

These bins are designed to accept only those items that are recyclable. Each one has a rectangular opening for newspapers and magazines, and a round opening for bottles and cans. Your job is easy. Just remember, as you walk down the street any recyclables you're ready to throw out do NOT go in a trash bin. They all go in the recycling bins--all together now. That's the beauty of single stream recycling. And now you can do it on the go as well as in your home.