NEWTON, MASS., November 5, 2014BigBelly Solar (Bigbelly), the world leader in smart waste and recycling solutions, today announces that the Alliance for Downtown New York recently undertook a major expansion of its use of solar-powered Bigbelly waste and recycling units. The Alliance through a public-private partnership with Vector Media increased the number of high-tech recycling bins from 16 to 174. In making the purchase of the units possible, Vector Media becomes the exclusive partner for the units’ exteriors.

The Bigbelly stations allow for waste disposal, and recycling of paper or plastic and glass at each specified bin. Solar power drives the units’ compacting capabilities, while remote monitoring via wireless technology notifies staff when units require emptying.

In October 2012, the Alliance launched a pilot of the Bigbelly program with five waste stations and expanded the program in early 2013 with the addition of 11 waste stations and later 16 recycling stations. The program grew to 158 compacting waste stations throughout Lower Manhattan that have allowed for immensely improved and more efficient use of staff and resources. With the use of Big Belly stations, the need to empty full bins has been reduced by nearly 75 percent.

“We are pleased that the Alliance for Downtown New York is expanding their Bigbelly system to include more public space recycling. The Alliance has demonstrated significant operational gains from their earlier installation and they continue to transform their public spaces with clean, safe, and sustainable solutions. We are proud of them as a client and plan to partner with them on more smart solutions,” said Rick Gaudette, director, Bigbelly.

Currently 174 waste collection bins and 16 recycling bins are located throughout Lower Manhattan (see diagram). Each of the 158 new bins will be paired with one of the 158 existing garbage bins not currently paired with a recycling unit.

Metrics for Success

A public ceremony held on September 8th to announce the expansion was attended by Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin, Vector Media’s Vice President Chad Silver, New York City Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and Bigbelly’s Executive Vice President for Strategic Planning and Marketing Brian Phillips, along with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Community Board 1 Chair Catherine McVay-Hughes.

Jessica Lappin, president, the Alliance for Downtown New York, thanked project partners, Department of Sanitation Commissioner Garcia, and Vector Media, and stated, “I’m proud to say that Lower Manhattan, already the largest district in the city using this innovative technology, continues to raise the bar on adopting technology that meets the demands of a strong, bustling urban center.”

Since the Alliance began its recycling program, the Bigbelly units, which can hold five to six times more refuse than conventional cans, have collected more than 37 tons of paper and 27 tons of bottle and can recyclables. Last fiscal year, the Bigbelly smart system collected more than 367 tons of waste in Lower Manhattan. The innovative bins have proven immensely effective in reducing the number of garbage bags collected, freeing more space for residents, workers, and visitors along streets and sidewalks.


About the Alliance for Downtown New York

Since 1995, the Alliance for Downtown New York has worked to enhance the quality of life in Lower Manhattan. Their mission is to provide service, advocacy, research, and information to advance Lower Manhattan as a global model of a 21st century central business district for businesses, residents, and visitors. The Alliance manages the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Business Improvement District (BID), serving an area roughly from City Hall to the Battery, from the East River to West Street. As a BID, the provide supplemental security and sanitation, free transportation in Lower Manhattan, streetscape and design services, economic development advocacy, comprehensive research about Lower Manhattan, marketing and communication and special event programming. For more information visit

About Bigbelly

BigBelly Solar (Bigbelly) is the world-leading provider of smart waste & recycling solutions with more than 1,500 customers in 46 countries. The Bigbelly Solar Smart Waste & Recycling System combines the power of cloud computing with smart solar-powered, compacting waste and recycling stations. The system enables municipalities, colleges & universities, transit systems, parks & beaches, healthcare facilities, corporate facilities, retail & mixed use, ports, and government facilities to beautify their public space while reducing operational costs by 70 – 80 percent.

Recognized as a C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group best practice, Bigbelly also enables its customers to become visible leaders in environmentally sustainable practices – displacing fossil fuel usage through renewable energy, increasing recycling rates, reducing litter and associated public health concerns, and creating a messaging platform to engage users and influence more environmentally-conscious behaviors.

For more information, visit Follow Bigbelly on Twitter at @BigBellySolar, on Facebook and on LinkedIn.

Contact: Lauren Curley, 617 529 6463,


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Statements of Endorsement and Praise

Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said, “The Department of Sanitation is pleased to partner with the Downtown Alliance and Vector Media in this exciting expansion of their public space recycling bin program. This expansion is right in step with Sanitation’s goal to increase recycling and sustainability, and to provide safer and cleaner streets and sidewalks. Sanitation knows the importance of public space recycling having already placed 2,912 baskets throughout the City for metal, glass, and plastic or paper. We are delighted to see that the Downtown Alliance shares our goals for going clean and green and we look forward to continuing to work with them.”

“We are proud to support the Alliance for Downtown New York in their efforts to make the streets of New York cleaner,” said Chad Silver, VP of Vector Media. “As a leading provider of out-of-home media, we always look to find new ways to impact residents, workers and tourists on the street level. Downtown New York is a vibrant neighborhood in which around 40 percent of its residents walk to work. We’re delighted to be able to make that journey better on a number of different levels. ”

“What could be better than solar-powered, air-tight recycling bins – they reduce waste, improve efficiency, and even discourage rats. Congratulations to the Downtown Alliance and NYC Department of Sanitation for expanding this key effort. Residents and visitors alike will surely appreciate these new bins,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, “The solar-powered recycling bins have been an enormous success in helping us keep our streets clean here in Lower Manhattan. At the same time, this environmentally friendly technology has enabled our community to do its part in helping to clean up the planet and reduce our carbon footprint. I want to commend Jessica Lappin and the Downtown Alliance for expanding this wonderful program.”

“This increase in the number of solar-powered bins will hopefully mean less overflowing trash,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “Increasing energy efficiency, while cutting down on waste pickup and increasing the city’s recycling rate is good news all around. I commend the Downtown Alliance, the Department of Sanitation and their partners for deploying this innovative technology.”

“It’s exciting to see the Downtown Alliance stepping up yet again to help keep our Lower Manhattan community clean and green,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “As many of my Council colleagues and I continue our efforts to create and pass environmentally conscious legislation, it’s also deeply important to have neighborhood partners who are serious about making those improvements happen at the local level. I applaud Jessica Lappin and the Downtown Alliance for their ongoing commitment to a cleaner and more environmentally friendly community.”

Community Board 1 Chair Catherine McVay-Hughes praised the Alliance’s innovative efforts, stating, “The Downtown Alliance once again applies the latest technology to address quality of life issues — the recycling expansion of the Big Belly trash compactor program is the latest example. Separation and pickup of valuable recyclables is a win-win for both our downtown community and our planet. Since we also have so many visitors from around the world, Lower Manhattan again can be a positive example by taking the lead on recycling in a practical way.”

New York City Council Sanitation Committee Chair Antonio Reynoso said, “I want to thank the Alliance for Downtown NY for investing in making it so much easier for residents, workers, and visitors to downtown Manhattan to recycle. As Chair of the Council’s Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management, I want to see the city’s recycling rate dramatically increased, and to do that we need both public and private investment to move us forward.”

Bigbelly Locations in Lower Manhattan

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