A New Brighton trial of high-tech solar-powered rubbish bins has proved so successful it has been extended for another three months.
The solar-powered Big Belly bins, which are distributed by Manco Environmental Ltd, have a built-in compactor that crushes the rubbish, giving them a capacity six times greater than a standard waste bin.
They are also fitted with sensors that detect when the bins are nearing capacity and send an alert to maintenance contractors that they need emptying.
Since the bins were installed at the Whale Pool playground three months ago contractors have only had to empty them, on average, once a week.
The old bins were emptied, on average, 14 times a week.
“Rubbish over-flowing from the old bins used to be a constant issue and resulted in ongoing complaints from the community. Since the new Big Belly bins have been in place the complaints about rubbish in the Whale Pool playground have entirely stopped,’’ said Christchurch City Council Smart Cities Programme Manager Teresa McCallum.
“The design of the Big Belly bins means seagulls and rodents can’t get to the rubbish and it doesn’t get blown around by the wind either. The New Brighton Guardians used to go around and regularly pick-up several plastic bags full of litter but now they’re hardly picking up any,’’ Ms McCallum said.
The trial of the Big Belly bins had been due to end on May 31, but the results had been so promising the trial was going to be extended until the end of August.
“We’re looking at putting clearer information on the Big Belly recycling bin about what materials can be put in it because we’re hoping to get the contamination rate under 10 per cent. That would make the Whale Pool recycling bin the best public recycling bin in the city, possibly even the country,’’ Ms McCallum said.