Athens, Ohio is a historic college town (home to Ohio University), located in the southeast region of the state and home to a population of approximately 25,000. The city deployed the Bigbelly smart waste and recycling system with the motivations of introducing recycling to public spaces while optimizing the collection routine in the Court Street area.
The city was collecting waste bins in the area 7x per week before Bigbelly and has reduced their collection frequency by nearly 85% to 1.1x per week on average. By introducing recycling to public spaces by using dual-stream smart stations, Athens has achieved a 47% recycling diversion rate in 2017 to date.
"The city of Athens has taken an initiative to clean up Court Street with new technology. The city installed 24 [Bigbelly] trash-compacting systems to reduce trash pick ups and increase recycling by pedestrians in Uptown. Mayor Steve Patterson said he started thinking of ideas to increase recycling in Uptown as soon as he took office. He said the main reason for bringing [Bigbelly] to Uptown was that there were no recycling trash bins Uptown. [...]
Currently, there are 56 round open-top trash cans on Court Street. Those lidless bins are subject to having trash blown out of them on windy days. BigBelly eliminates that problem resulting in cleaner streets. In addition to that, Patterson said the city is saving money. [...]
“Our drivers who go out and pick up the trash can use an app that tells them which ones need to be emptied, so that’s what creates a lot of efficiency,” [Executive Director of Athens-Hocking Recycling Centers, Bruce Underwood] said."
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