Green areas on this map show some of the areas of Lower Manhattan where the BigBelly Solar waste bins are located. (BigBelly Solar graphic)

Alliance Expands Use of Solar Waste and Recycling Units

More than 150 new recycling bins in Lower Manhattan are increasing waste collection efficiency, BigBelly Solar reports.

The Alliance for Downtown New York has significantly expanded its use of solar-powered Bigbelly waste and recycling units, raising the number in Lower Manhattan from 16 to 174, Newton, Mass.-based BigBelly Solar announced Nov. 6. The alliance accomplished this through a public-private partnership with Vector Media, with Vector Media becoming the exclusive partner for the units' exteriors.

The company's announcement said the Bigbelly stations allow for waste disposal and recycling of paper or plastic and glass. Solar power drives their compacting capabilities and remote monitoring via wireless technology alerts staffers when the units require emptying.

The alliance had started a pilot program using five of them in October 2012 and expanded itlast year by adding 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," the announcement states.

"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 of Bigbelly.

"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," New York City Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said. "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."