High-tech bins ‘talk’ to council

Bigbelly solar compact bin
Bigbelly solar compact bin

High-tech bins that will tell the council when they are nearly full and in need of emptying are coming to Leighton Buzzard this summer.

The BigBelly Solar bin harvests energy from the sun and uses it to compact waste to an an eighth of its size.

They should be installed in Parson’s Close Recreation Ground within the next month following a presentation to Leighton-Linslade Town Council by a BigBelly representative.

Councillor Alan Brandham, chairman of the leisure and community committee, said: “We will be trialling five of the BigBelly smart bins at Parson’s Park, where the splash park is, they will replace 20 normal bins.

“The bins can deal with 80% more rubbish than the current bins we have. They are easy to unload and they are interactive so they will tell us when they are nearly full.

“Also they are very compact so we will not have the issue we have at the moment with rubbish flying everywhere.

“We are buying them over a five year lease and if they are successful we will purchase more.”

The cost of leasing these bins for five years is £20 per bin per week, a total of £5,200 per bin over the five years.

Due to its huge capacity, it could save the town council money in vehicle journeys and fuel to collect the waste.

The solar-powered unit runs on a 12v battery and needs just eight hours of sunlight per month to function.

Each compactor comes equipped with a wireless monitoring system, this enables the refuse collection teams to view the fullness of each bin on computers and smart phones.

The system will send a text or email when the bin is 85% full and in need of emptying.

The BigBelly representative told the meeting of the leisure and community committee that the technology was being developed so that, in future, the bins could potentially also be fitted with sensors to measure factors such as footfall, traffic and temperature.