BigBelly Solar, the world leader in smart waste and recycling solutions, today announces that the Alliance for Downtown New York recently undertook a major expansion of its use of solar-powered Bigbelly waste and recycling units. The Alliance through a public-private partnership with Vector Media increased the number of high-tech recycling bins from 16 to 174. In making the purchase of the units possible, Vector Media becomes the exclusive partner for the units’ exteriors. The Bigbelly stations allow for waste disposal, and recycling of paper or plastic and glass at each specified bin. Solar power drives the units’ compacting capabilities, while remote monitoring via wireless technology notifies staff when units require emptying. In October 2012, the Alliance launched a pilot of the Bigbelly program with five waste stations and expanded the program in early 2013 with the addition of 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.

“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, Bigbelly. Currently 174 waste collection bins and 16 recycling bins are located throughout Lower Manhattan (see diagram). Each of the 158 new bins will be paired with one of the 158 existing garbage bins not currently paired with a recycling unit.

A public ceremony held on September 8th to announce the expansion was attended by Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin, Vector Media’s Vice President Chad Silver, New York City Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and Bigbelly’s Executive Vice President for Strategic Planning and Marketing Brian Phillips, along with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Community Board 1 Chair Catherine McVay-Hughes. Jessica Lappin, president, the Alliance for Downtown New York, thanked project partners, Department of Sanitation Commissioner Garcia, and Vector Media, and stated, “I’m proud to say that Lower Manhattan, already the largest district in the city using this innovative technology, continues to raise the bar on adopting technology that meets the demands of a strong, bustling urban center.” Since the Alliance began its recycling program, the Bigbelly units, which can hold five to six times more refuse than conventional cans, have collected more than 37 tons of paper and 27 tons of bottle and can recyclables. Last fiscal year, the Bigbelly smart system collected more than 367 tons of waste in Lower Manhattan. The innovative bins have proven immensely effective in reducing the number of garbage bags collected, freeing more space for residents, workers, and visitors along streets and sidewalks.

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