In partnership with the City of Winnipeg, Bigbelly's solar-powered trash compacting system was installed by Transcona BIZ in their downtown area in April. Read on for the story as reported in the Winnipeg Free Press:
It wasn’t long ago that some Winnipeggers used to look down their noses at "Trashcona." But now, the Park City is on the cutting edge of trash collection with a new pilot project that could make a positive impact on reducing litter on the streets while cutting down on the costs of collection.
On May 4, the Transcona BIZ officially unveiled their new solar-powered [Bigbelly] trash and recycling bins with a ceremonial ribbon cutting during their annual neighbourhood cleanup. The new [Bigbelly] bins replaces one of the City’s standard duo waste and recycling bins.
"It’s the first of its kind in Manitoba, right here in Transcona," Alexandra Morrison, executive director of the Transcona BIZ, told The Herald. "We’re super, super excited."
Equipped with solar powered sensors and a scale, the bins detect when trash or recycling reach a certain threshold. At that point, the compactors are engaged. "It doesn’t squish it in to a brick, but compresses to get the air out," Morrison explained. "You can get over five times the amount of garbage in one space." Transcona BIZ and City staff can keep track of the bins’ status with an app on their phone or desktop computers.
"These things are also sealed, so less likely to have pests buzzing around in the summer, less likely for ravens coming and picking garbage out onto the sidewalk," Morrison added.
Morrison first came across the solar powered bins on vacation in San Francisco, Calif., two years ago. At the same time, Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona) had come across a similar bins in Kenora, Ont., which has 70 bins throughout the community. "The universe seemed to be in alignment," Morrison said.
At Wyatt’s urging, the BIZ decided to pursue a pilot project, in partnership with the City, to see if implementing the bins could both reduce the amount of trash on city streets while also saving money on trash collection. "The litter down here on Regent between Bond and Day can be pretty bad in the summer," Morrison said. "We’ve had problems in the past where the City couldn’t catch up. So we pitched the idea to our board, and they accepted it." [...]