Aberdeen City Council unveil solar powered bins

The solar powered bins are fitted with waste compactors. Picture: Johnston Press

The solar powered bins are fitted with waste compactors. Picture: Johnston Press

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ABERDEEN City Council today unveiled the local authority’s latest weapon in the fight to keep the city centre litter free - solar powered refuse bins.

• 60 ‘Big Belly Bins’ have been installed in a £246,500 initiative

• The solar powered bins are fitted with waste compactors

• They use wireless technology to alert the local authority when they are full

A network of 60 of the “Big Belly Bins” have been installed at strategic locations throughout the commercial heart of the Granite City in a £246,500 initiative.

The solar powered bins are fitted with waste compactors, ensuring they need to be emptied less often than traditional designs. They also use wireless technology to alert the local authority when they are full, preventing unnecessary collection rounds and ensuring that overflowing bins will be a problem of the past. The revolutionary bins can also act as wi-fi hotspots to provide tourists and visitors with up to date information on the city’s sights, shops and restaurants.

They have been installed in a scheme jointly funded by the city council and Aberdeen Inspired, the organisation dedicated to improvements in the city centre.

New technology

Allan Henderson, the Aberdeen Inspired director with the responsibility for the organisation’s Attractive City theme, said: “Not only is it solving age old problems with litter collections and vastly improving efficiency, it is also putting new technology into the centre of the city and ensuring Aberdeen is leading the way.

“We want the city to be seen as a pacesetter in every area and this is just one example of the pieces of the jigsaw falling into place.”

He added: “When we first announced details of the Big Belly Bin project in the autumn there was a hugely positive response, with interest from as far afield as America. It was a great talking point at the time and now the units have been manufactured and are in place I’m sure it will stimulate even more of a focus on them, which from our point of view is a welcome spin-off.”

Trial bin

Steven Shaw, Aberdeen City Council’s environmental manager, explained: “When we introduced a trial bin at St Nicholas Street we found it needed emptied every three or four days, compared to traditional bins in the same area which are emptied twice a day.”

“Our street sweeping teams work very hard to keep our streets clean and the introduction of the Big Belly Bins will bring efficiencies which will allow manpower to be freed up for valuable duties elsewhere. The council is delighted to have able to work with Aberdeen Inspired to bring this project to fruition and view this as taking a great stride forward.”

Derek Robertson, chief executive of independent charity Keep Scotland Beautiful, praised the Aberdeen initiative. He said: “This is an excellent initiative that will deliver further tangible improvements in environmental quality in Aberdeen. Keep Scotland Beautiful has been working with all local authorities to measure and improve street cleanliness, alongside our Clean Up Scotland campaign. It is fantastic to see other partners like Aberdeen Inspired playing their part.”

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