The so-called Big Belly is a high-tech solar-powered trash can that automatically compacts trash and recycables, and sends city cleaners a notification when it’s full.
As another one of those ‘smart’ devices, which we have discussed on multiple occassions in the past on The Pop-Up City, the Big Belly is quite a remarkable thing. In short, it does two things. First and foremost, it is a trash can that can compact trash powered by just the power of the sun. Secondly, when the trash can is full, it sends an email to the garbage collectors that they can pick up the trash.
While the initial investment is quite high (one Big Belly costs around $7,000), the returns are quite large. To illustrate, the city of Raleigh replaced 32 traditional open-top trash cans with 10 Big Bellies along Fayetteville Street and reduced costs from over $40,000 to just over $1,600. On top of that, instead of three trucks driving through the city all day, it now only needs one. So not only contributes the Big Belly to a sustainable society with its compacting skills, it also cuts back manpower and time by an astounding amount. We tip our hats to these revolutionary machines and hope to see them along our streets rather sooner than later.