Solar powered rubbish bins

An overflowing rubbish bin in a public place isn’t a pleasant site and the trash tends to get blown around; spreading garbage into the surrounding environment.

Australia’s Brisbane City Council is trialing a new type of bin that compacts rubbish to save space, uses LED level indicators and alerts council workers via email or SMS when it is nearly full and is also run on solar power – 2 x 40 watt solar panels.

From what I could dig up further on the story, it appears that the company supplying the bins, known as BigBelly™ bins, is a USA company called Johnson’s Environmental Products. Here’s how the bins look:

According to Johnson’s; use of the solar powered BigBelly™ bins can eliminate up to 8 out of every 10 collections due to the compaction of the trash. That’s not just a money saver in terms of labor, but also space in landfills through the compaction and a reduction in CO2 emissions in picking up and transporting the waste.

Of the 10 bins being trialed by Brisbane City Council, 2 will be co-mingling recycling bins; i.e. recyclable items such as glass and cans mixed in together. Let’s hope that people use those wisely. My father works in the recycling industry and some of the things he’s found in the “recyclable” waste that hits his benches is .. ummm.. well, I’ll just leave it at that except to say that people can be very lazy and thoughtless at times :).