Brighton & Hove City Council has launched a set of solar powered bins that can swallow up to eight times more waste than a normal bin.

The ‘Bigbelly bins’ use the sun’s powerful rays to compact any litter placed inside, meaning they can stomach loads more rubbish.

The 100 hi-tech bins also use super-smart ‘cloud-based’ tracking systems to send text and email messages to the council’s street cleansing teams when they are full and need emptying.

At present staff need to check and empty the ordinary bins every day, some up to five times every 24 hours. However the Bigbellies’ compacting and message systems mean the new bins won’t need daily attention, which will allow the street cleansing teams to concentrate on other areas of the city.

Cllr Gill Mitchell, chair of the council’s Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, said: “Bigbelly bins are a fantastic invention that will help us tackle recycling and waste at the busiest hotspots in the city.

“They will help reduce collections and therefore costs, free up staff to carry out other collections and ensure we have cleaner public spaces, which is a win win for both the council and our residents.

“This is part of our ongoing improvements to refuse and recycling services that will benefit all our residents and visitors.”

The first set of bins will be in place from Thursday 1 September at Brighton Rail Station, Queens Road and West Street. The bins will also be located at other busy pedestrian areas:

  • Western Road to the Floral Clock at Palmeira Square
  • North Street and the Old Steine
  • Preston Street to Kings Road
  • Kings Road from West Street to Black Lion Street
  • St James’s Street, and
  • London Road.

A Bigbelly unit takes up roughly the same footprint of an existing street bin but runs entirely on the sun’s energy and, even in low light, powers a 12 volt battery.

The Bigbellies are so effective they are now being used throughout the UK and major cities globally including Amsterdam, Chicago, Dublin, Sydney, Stockholm and New York’s Times Square – one of the world’s busiest pedestrian areas.

The council will also carry out a ‘deep clean’ power wash of all the streets where the bins will be located, with the aim of removing chewing gum, dirt and grime.


Source: Brighton & Hove City Council Communications Office