BigBelly Solar-Powered Recycling Bins Headed To Times Square

March 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips


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Earlier today, Mayor Bloomberg and the Times Square Alliance announced a new recycling pilot program in Times Square, calling it NYC’s largest public space recycling initiative: 30 BigBelly solar-powered waste and recycling stations will be stationed in the area, to “encourage public space recycling among the more than 500,000 daily visitors to the crossroads of the world. Times Square generates approximately 15,300 pounds or 900 bags of garbage a day—more than any other New York City neighborhood.” Also, Birdie was on hand!

The Times Square Alliance received a $250,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation to buy the BigBellies. Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins said, “Sometimes in Times Square, we nurture habits that are, shall we say, a bit less wholesome. Today it’s all about helping a habit that helps the planet—recycling.”

Mayor Bloomberg had previously announced that he wanted to double the NYC recycling rate to 30% and today he reiterated, “By year’s end, our Administration will put 1,000 new recycling containers on streets in all five boroughs. Making recycling easier for New Yorkers will build on our work to make our entire system of solid waste management less polluting, more energy-efficient, and more sustainable, both economically and environmentally.”

Tompkins said that the project was been born when he heard Deputy Mayor Cas Halloway say that he was “obsessed with trash” and they’d started talking about Times Square. Bloomberg responded by saying that if Cas had told him that he was obsessed with trash, he would have told him to “get a life.” #YOLO

The city’s press release has details about the Big Bellies:

Big Belly units have 3 sections: Cans Bottles; Garbage; Paper. They use solar energy to compact trash, are more sanitary than the current bins and require fewer pickups. The high-tech stations will channel solar energy to cut greenhouse emissions by 80 percent and hold five times the capacity of traditional sidewalk trash receptacles, significantly reducing the number of trash bags on Times Square streets. The City will launch the program by installing 30 of the high-tech stations in Times Square along Seventh Avenue and Broadway between 42nd and 47th Streets. The stations, which can be remotely monitored to enable staff to only send out collection personnel when they are full, will replace 53 trash bins in the area. The plan calls for additional solar stations to be installed throughout Times Square.

Reporting by Emilie Ruscoe

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