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Bins a crushing success

There's a big belly with a big appetite down at Balmoral.

The new bin actually soaks up the sun to guzzle up the garbage.

Mosman council is one of the first in Australia to trial a solar-powered compactor bin, with hopes of investing in the smart model in the future.

The 100-litre bin, dubbed BigBelly, automatically compacts rubbish so it can accommodate the volume of waste of five regular bins.

BigBelly was installed on the Balmoral beachfront near the intersection of Raglan St and The Esplanade last Tuesday and will be trialled for six months.

Contract services team leader John Saul said the bin was designed to stop the problem of overflowing rubbish, especially during busy periods.

It would also keep pests out and prevent waste ending up in waterways, which often kills or injures marine life.

“Birds can’t get near the stuff inside and there are no problems with overflowing,” Mr Saul said.

“The maintenance is pretty much foolproof and we’ve had reports from people elsewhere in the world about how successful these bins have been.”

BigBelly is valued at about $4000, twice the cost of a regular bin, but it could reduce the number of waste bins in the suburb by half.

It would also slash council’s fuel use and greenhouse emissions by 80 per cent by reducing the frequency of garbage collections along the beachfront, Mr Saul said.

“Because it can fit five times the amount of waste of an old bin, we won’t need as many,” he said.

“During summer the trucks make two to three trips each day to empty the bins.

“Hopefully we can get that down to once or twice a day.”

Mr Saul said there had been “teething problems” with the sensor (which detects when the bin is full and activates the compactor), but he was confident it could be as successful in Mosman as in California, where BigBellies populate the famous west coast.

Council is currently funding BigBelly through a rent-try-buy scheme, where rental payments go towards the cost of the final product.

How it works:

- Solar panels supply energy to the LED acid battery.

- An electric eye sensor detects when disposed material approaches the top of the bin then turns on the compactor motor, which squashes the garbage to create space for more rubbish to fit inside.

- When the bin has reached its full capacity, it signals operators a flashing light.


By Emma Page

Source: The Mosman Daily

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