Our Bigbelly bins are helping to manage rubbish more effectively.

Bigbelly compacting bin in New Brighton

The aim of Bigbelly bins is to

  • Provide a solution to overflowing rubbish bins.
  • Reduce the scattered litter cause by the wind or seagulls.
  • Reduce complaints about overflowing rubbish bins.

How the bins work

BigBelly bins are equipped with a small solar-powered compactor. A sensor inside the bin activates the compactor, which crushes the rubbish and recycling meaning Bigbelly bins can hold up to six times more rubbish than a standard New Zealand rubbish bin.

Data is logged daily and connected with the CLEAN Management system, providing online alerts regarding the bins' status. This alert allows contractors to know exactly how full each bin is and when it needs emptying.


  • Bigbelly bins have reduced contractor visits: Standard bins at this location were emptied on average 14 times per week (peaking at 21 times). The Bigbelly rubbish bin is emptied on average once a week. 
  • Whale Pool area clean and tidy: Public feedback about rubbish in the Whale Pool has reduced significantly. 
  • Positive feedback received: Positive feedback has been received from local New Brighton residents who used to pick up several plastic bags of litter in the area. They say now they rarely have to pick rubbish up.
  • Rodent and seagull free: The Bigbelly bins flaps (like clothing bins) have to be physically opened, making them rodent and seagull-proof. 
  • Bad recycling habits: Large numbers of items placed in the recycling bin are not actually recyclable. Changes are being made to the Bigbelly bin lids to help prevent this contamination and increase the level of recycling.
    Find out what is recyclable.

What we have learned so far

  • The solution is effective as it has reduced the amount of rubbish in the area, stopped overflowing rubbish bins and ensured local facilities like the Whale Pool are in a cleaner state.
  • Twenty-five per cent of recycling contains non-recyclable items.