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What Is The Waste Collection System of the Future?

Posted by Trent Fitzgerald on Jul 20, 2011 4:13:00 PM
BigBelly Solar Powered Trash Compactor
  • Have you ever walked down a city street and seen the garbage overflowing from a waste receptacle?
  • Have you ever seen how much space can be saved in a waste receptacle by using a trash compactor?
  • Have you ever seen how much fuel a garbage collection truck uses?
  • Have you ever seen a solar panel collect energy from the sun?
  • Have you ever seen a waste receptacle send a text message?
  • Have you ever thought to combine all of these elements into a waste collection solution?
  • If you haven’t, don’t worry because someone has already done the calculations to combine each of the elements into the waste collection system of the future.

A Sunday Morning Stroll

While walking down a Boston street one Sunday morning, an MBA student noticed the undersized trash cans struggling to contain the weekend’s waste, with the garbage piled up on the receptacle so it resembled the contents of a snow cone.  Not only was the trash overflowing from the containers, but the excess waste was beginning to attract some birds, rats and other unwanted pests.

“Now here is problem crying out for a solution”, he thought to himself.

He then started researching the waste collection industry and learned that the average garbage truck gets approximately 2.8 miles per gallon, and that as an industry garbage collection trucks use almost a billion gallons of diesel fuel a year for collections. 

BigBelly Solar-Powered Trash CompactorWhat if the garbage collection trucks didn’t have to service the waste receptacles as frequently?  That would save a lot of fuel and resulting emissions, to say nothing of the collection people’s time, and wear and tear on public streets.  What if the waste could be compacted in place?

An Idea is Born

He then used his experience with battery technology and knowledge of solar panels to craft an energy source to power this new idea of a waste receptacle that contained and compacted the trash in place – and after a few prototypes and some trial and error, the BigBelly Solar Powered Trash Compactor was born.

That idea has now been used in the market for over 7 years, and has been deployed in cities and towns throughout the United States, as well as several other countries.

The New Idea – Wireless Communication

As the BigBelly has been deployed and experiences gathered, the next new idea is wireless communication – in other words what if your waste receptacle could tell you when it needed to be emptied?

That is the basic idea behind having the waste receptacle send a text message of its status so you will know which receptacles need to be emptied – and which ones don’t.

The Waste Collection System of the Future

That, in a nutshell, is the story behind the BigBelly – that MBA student who dreamed it up is still the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) for the company, and is still asking questions on how to improve the process of waste collection.

Follow these links to learn more about WAXIE's BigBelly offering or get a free collection study analysis:

BigBelly Solar-Powered Trash Compactor

CLEAN Wireless Communication

BigBelly Recycler Units

BigBelly Solar Company Overview

BigBelly Videos

Savings Calculator


Topics: compactor, trash compactor, trash can, waste receptacle, trash, waste, litter, garbage, solid waste, sanitation, overflow, waste services, collection, disposal, hauling, carting, bin, container, litter can, litter bin, street furniture, outdoor furniture, compaction, compacting, dumpster, poss, entrepreneur, inventor, invention, cross-conta, refuse, receptacle, recycled content, recycling

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