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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Solar Powered Trash Compactor Pilot Program Comes to Roosevelt Island

Dick Lutz of the Main Street WIRE sends along the following information and photo above.

RIOC this morning installed a solar-powered BigBelly Trash Compactor at the Island subway station, and invites residents to use it for household trash. The $4,000 unit compacts 150 pounds of trash, using power from batteries recharged by solar cells that cover the top of the unit. The unit installed here is for demonstration purposes, but RIOC thinks more might eventually be set up elsewhere on the Island. The technician setting up the unit said it needs about two hours of solar recharging each day.
RIOC's Sylvia Giralde explains further:
I wanted to inform you that as part of one of many eco-friendly initiatives RIOC in undertaking, an Eco-friendly Pilot Program is one of them. This initiative consists of a solar-paneled trash compactor and recycler which will be placed in front of the train station as of tomorrow, July 3. The compactor, otherwise known as the BigBelly, uses solar energy to compact trash and has the capacity of 4x-5x a regular receptacle. The initiative is not meant to replace the recycling bins in the residential buildings but as an addition to the Island for visitors, commuters, and residents walking about the Island.

The way the technology works is as the trash begins to fill up in the BigBelly trash compactor, the solar powered motion sensor causes the trash to compact. The recycler does not compact recyclables.

This initiative reduces the amount of trash collection frequency, which in turn reduces emissions of pollutants into the air, lowers cost all around, and provides for a 'greener' island.

Please feel free to contact me should you have any further questions about this exciting initiative!
Roosevelt Island 360 has more on the Big Belly Trash Compactor.

UPDATE 7/8 - The Daily News reports today that NYC is not interested in using the Big Belly Trash Compactor because
... after a two-unit trial, found them impractical, a Sanitation Department spokesman said.

He cited four sticking points: the cost, the complexity of emptying them, the confusion people had telling it apart from a mailbox and the small trash opening.

"We have no plans to implement BigBelly in the city," said Sanitation Department spokesman Matt LiPani. "It may be good for the BIDs, but it's not good for the city."

But Franklin Cruz, the president of BigBelly's Bronx-based distributor, Direct Environmental Corp., disagreed. He noted that he sold two to the city's Department of Citywide Administrative Services in June.

"I don't understand their rationale. BigBelly has a tremendous track record," Cruz said. "I think the city will come around."

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