WRITTEN BY ALISON SKILTON
No one likes walking by a smelly garbage can that’s baking in the heat of the New York summer. Thankfully, someone decided to do something about it.
This weekend, The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership began installing 140 solar-powered combination garbage and recycling units throughout Brooklyn in order to reduce waste on the streets from unsightly overflowing garbage cans.
The square, light blue receptacles are manufactured by Bigbelly, Inc., an organization dedicated to greener streets. The bins have solar panels on top that compact the waste allowing for the cans to hold five times as much waste as a traditional garbage can. They even signal sanitation workers when the cans are full.
“It’s an Internet-based system,” Andrew Kasich of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership told The Brooklyn Eagle, ““It sends to a little dashboard that our guys monitor. They can monitor from a cellphone, monitor from a tablet, monitor from any computer, and it says, ‘this trash can is full.’”
The high-tech containers are also fully enclosed—unlike traditional trash cans—in order to prevent waste from falling from the cans and littering the streets. They also keeps rats, roaches, and other pests out.
“The installation of these solar-powered waste and recycling kiosks has already had a dramatic effect in the area,” Rick Gaudette of Bigbelly announced at the program’s unveiling ceremony on September 13, according to The Brooklyn Eagle. “Look around us,” he continued, “This area is clean.”
The change could also benefit St. Francis campus.
SFC employee Rob Allende commented, “I think this is a step in the right direction. New York City is one of the dirtiest cities in the world by the world’s standards. I think it would be good to see trash actually not overflowing or in the street or homeless people or insects crawling out of it. I think it’s going to be good if they can follow up because if the unit says ‘come change me’ and they don’t change it then we’re back to square one all over again.”
SFC student Esteban Carrion III also weighed in on the changes. “I think that it’s a very smart solution to a very dirty problem because pollution from garbage in the streets as well as in parks and waterways is a very prevalent problem in New York City, and this seems like a good answer.”
Over the next month, the light blue bins will be popping up around Brooklyn Heights and the neighborhood’s residents will determine their true value in the community.