Beyond the Bin - The Bigbelly Blog

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"Bigbelly has big impact on Athens" | Introducing Public Space Recycling in Athens, Ohio

Posted by Bigbelly on 3/13/17 12:04 PM

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.

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Topics: Community, Municipality, Core City Services

"Montclair Goes Smart with Waste Management" | Revitalizing the Downtown District and Keeping Litter Contained in New Jersey

Posted by Bigbelly on 2/28/17 10:35 AM

One of the latest municipalities to change their space with the Bigbelly system is the Township of Montclair in Essex County, New Jersey. This 40,000 resident township is located about 20 miles northwest of New York City, well-know to be home to baseball legend Yogi Berra, and home to Montclair State University.

Town leadership deployed the Bigbelly system to better manage public space waste in the Montclair Center area, the townships's main commercial zone. In 2015, Montclair Center won the Great American Main Street Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation which recognizes "communities exemplyfing the use of the Main Street Approach to revitalization of their traditional downtowns and/or neighborhood business districts." 

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Topics: Community, Municipality, Core City Services, BIDs

Top 25 Most Efficient Smart College & University Deployments -- 2016 in Review

Posted by Bigbelly on 1/31/17 11:43 AM

As we look back at 2016 and ahead into 2017, we reflect on and are inspired by our customer successes. We are excited to unveil the Top 25 Most Efficient College and University Deployments Using the Bigbelly Smart Waste & Recycling System.  

Congratulations to each and every one of these college and universities, their student body, staff, and faculty! These higher education instutions are power users of their smart waste system and are taking full advantage of data-driven waste management across campus!

1. University of Alberta (AB, Canada) - 91% Average Efficiency for 2016!

2. University of CaliforniaBerkeley (CA, United States)

3. University of CaliforniaSan Diego (CA, United States)

4. University of Illinois at Chicago (IL, United States)

5. University of North Texas (TX, United States)

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Topics: Community, Higher Education, College, Optimization, Efficiency

Measuring the Success of Public Space Recycling Programs

Posted by Leila Dillon on 11/16/15 12:41 PM

Your town or city recently implemented a public space recycling program. After much planning, how will town officials know if it needs adjustment? If it is ready for expansion? If it is working as efficiently and effectively as planned?

Measurement of course will help to determine the program’s impact. The measurements extend well beyond knowing the location and number of recycling containers in public spaces. It requires data turned into information used by all parties involved – Department of Public Works, neighborhood or district improvement groups, waste and recycling haulers, and town and city officials.

Knowing how the overall program performs as well as metrics about the efficacy of each container helps demonstrate the program’s benefits and aids in strengthening community support.

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Topics: Urban Waste Management, Community, Recycling, Municipality, Core City Services

Public Space Recycling Programs On the Rise

Posted by Leila Dillon on 10/16/15 2:24 PM

What are public spaces? They are indoor/outdoor attraction centers, and highly visible commerce areas that have unique features that add to city livability. They are diverse and can be found in downtown areas, on the outskirts, or as a feature of a specific neighborhood. Wherever they are, they attract the public. When linked to city infrastructure, public spaces are promoted by tourism departments as valuable enhancements to the town: from transit hubs, airports, and recreation centers to parks, playgrounds, and sidewalks.

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Topics: Urban Waste Management, Community, Recycling, Municipality

Definition: Livability

Posted by Leila Dillon on 8/19/15 4:54 PM

Livability describes the diverse aspects of society, surroundings, and shared experiences that shape a community. It focuses on the human experience and is specific to place and time. It includes economic, spatial, and social components that together are challenging to understand and measure in our defined world of planning and development of today's communities for tomorrow. As such, it is best defined by the state, region, or community, and is best measured at a scale where consensus can be found.

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Topics: Definition, Community, Municipality, Core City Services, Livability

What Makes A City Resilient?

Posted by Leila Dillon on 8/13/15 11:12 AM

As the world around us evolves due to changing economies, governments, natural resources, and the environment, municipalities may face strains on assets and resources. Cities and towns are proactively building strategies to limit the impact of acute shock and chronic stress that threaten them or weaken their foundation on a day-to-day or cyclical basis. Sudden, sharp events like disease outbreaks, national and international political and economic disruptions, terrorist accounts, and extreme weather and natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods are hard to deal with without proper pre-planning and disaster recovery plans in place. Stresses like inefficient public transportation systems; high unemployment; endemic violence; and power, food, and water shortages or interruptions also pose challenges for municipalities.

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Topics: Smart Cities, Community, Resiliency, Municipality, Core City Services

The Internet of Civic Things: Public Service Improvements with IoT

Posted by Leila Dillon on 7/30/15 9:36 AM

The Internet of Things (IoT) is well known to most people involved in technology innovation. Need a refresher? Check out one of our recent blog posts which defines IoT. Simply put, it’s a growing network of physical objects that feature an IP address for internet connectivity where the communications occur between objects and other Internet-enable devices and systems. IoT projects are found across most industries – higher education, healthcare, manufacturing, logistics, consumer electronics, automotive, etc.

When it comes to government, the promise of IoT is designed to solve everyday problems associated with urban living. Urban IoT initiatives are flush with sensors for fire and smoke detection, remote monitoring and performance of infrastructure related to core city services, reporting the structural integrity of roadways and bridges, alerting consumers to parking availability, broadcasting public service announcements or city events and news, tracking lost items (people and pets, too!), smart lighting, and more.

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Topics: Smart Cities, IoT, Community, Municipality

Every Month is Plastic Free Month

Posted by Leila Dillon on 7/23/15 10:34 AM

Did you know it’s Plastic Free July? Have you taken the challenge to reduce the amount of plastic you use, specifically single-use plastic? If not, a few weeks remain in the challenge. However, there’s little reason to not continue to adopt changes for the long term. It’s an effort many cities would applaud!

Cities and towns worldwide are banning plastic – from plastic bags to single-use plastic and Styrofoam containers. The reasons vary from sustainability inaititives to cutting waste management costs. A recent example that you may have heard in the media was New York City's ban of expanded polystyrene foam which cannot be recycled and cause environemntal harm.

There’s a groundswell of effort focused on educating and raising awareness of the amount of single-use disposable plastic in daily life. Organizations like Plastic Free July are also challenging people to do something about it by simply reducing their use of single-use plastic. For many people, the first step – a rather easy one – is to avoid plastic bags, water bottles, takeaway coffee cups, and straws. 

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Topics: Urban Waste Management, Community, Recycling

Is Recycling Really Worth the Effort?

Posted by Leila Dillon on 7/21/15 10:04 AM

Each year city leaders take on the task of balancing budgets while keeping a close eye on core city services. If there’s a deficit, one line item that might face reduced support is recycling-related efforts and programs. While they do require budget dollars to maintain, these recycling efforts also promise to save a city money (and environmental impact) in the end.

Recycling costs vary from one city to the next depending upon proximity to landfills, labor cost, real estate prices, and method of recycling. Despite varying financial benefits, there are many positive reasons both economically and environmentally to recycle. 

When it comes to recyclable materials - aluminum, glass, plastic, and paper - some recycle more easily than others and their life spans are extraordinarily long. In all cases, recycling of these materials results in energy and natural resource savings.

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Topics: Community, Resiliency, Recycling, Municipality, Core City Services

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We partner with smart cities, campuses, and companies to enhance their core services with IoT technologies. Most notably the world leading solution provider for smart waste & recycling systems, we help to create smarter, connected, and sustainable streetscapes for today and tomorrow.

Beyond the Bin features deployment highlights, industry thoughts and insights, technology and sustainability tips & tricks, product news, and more. Enjoy!

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