Excerpt from WasteDive article:

Waste basket. Rubbish bin. Trash barrel. No matter what you call it, the typical garbage receptacle has acted as a mundane necessity in the everyday life of communities across the globe. From personal bins to corporate dumpsters, these containers have typically offered a uniform functionality: to collect trash for disposal.

Today, many companies are making efforts to amp up the simple trash can with advanced technology and design, allowing a refuse container to do more than ever imagined.

For the past 12 years, Bigbelly has been a leader in waste container innovation. The Needham, MA-based company has installed over 30,000 trash and recycling containers across the globe that use solar power to compact garbage.

Credit: Bigbelly

“It all started back many years ago with the idea of having a smarter way to deal with trash,” said Bigbelly Vice President of Marketing Leila Dillon. She explained that creating a waste container with compaction has allowed a Bigbelly container to handle five times the amount of trash that another container of the same size would be able to hold. Additionally, Bigbelly offers cloud-based software that allows trash haulers to monitor the capacity of their bins, which Dillon says is the “cornerstone” of the company.

“You can simply click on the stations and the fullness summary, and you can also look at it from what we call a heat map so you really understand the capacity needs for your city or town,” said Dillon.

The ability to customize bins in order to fit community needs is a unique element of Bigbelly’s operations. The company lets the client decide location and capacity of each station, and offers to wrap the containers in advertisements or logos. Recently, Bigbelly even announced the installation of Wi-Fi hotspots in containers throughout New York City.

“We thought, ‘Wow there’s a lot we could do with this.’ The solar power makes us quite unique. We don’t need to plug in our station and we tend to have the most deployments in the highest traffic area,” said Dillon. “So that was sort of the idea behind adding Wi-Fi or even adding things like data metrics and urban intelligence data.”

Dillon said she hopes that Bigbelly will continue to bring more value and services underneath a “smart and connected self-powered station that sits on every street corner.”

Source: WasteDIVE, by Kristin Musulin