There will now be 80 Bigbelly bins – which can hold eight times the amount of a standard street bin, thanks to a solar-powered compactor inside – installed in locations where they are most needed, such as district centres and stations. The compactors automatically press down the waste inside the bins – meaning that council contractors need to empty them less often and can use the time to do more litter picking and street cleaning.
The Bigbelly bins – which are already used in a number of places around the country, including Nottingham, Bournemouth and Kingston – can last a month on just eight hours’ sunlight, and an inbuilt sensor even enables them to send an email alert when they need emptying. This sensor also gathers data that enables staff to plan where new bins may be needed, based on which are the most-used and least-used. The Bigbelly bins are for street litter only, not household waste.
The Bigbelly roll-out is just one of a wide range of clean-streets initiatives introduced as part of the council’s Don’t Mess with Croydon – Take Pride campaign. The campaign builds on residents’ pride in their borough and involves working with Croydon’s community to keep streets and public places clean, while taking enforcement action against the worst offenders. At the same time, the council has made a £1.28m capital investment in street cleaning, generating £600,000-worth of efficiencies to release staff to do more street cleansing. The council has also introduced several innovative new systems to keep the borough tidy, such as time-banded business-waste collections, getting commercial waste off the pavements.
Highlights of the campaign include 80% of fly-tips now removed in 48 hours (as opposed to just 3% prior to 2014); a new smartphone app for reporting fly-tips; and recruitment of more than 300 street champions. The council has also issued more than 1,700 fixed-penalty notices, more than 50% of which were for fly-tipping, and prosecuted 146 people since launching the initiative in summer 2014.
Councillor Stuart Collins, deputy leader – Clean Green Croydon
“The Bigbelly bins are fantastic and I’m delighted to see them on our streets. They’re highly visible, easy to use, environmentally friendly – and their super capacity means they need emptying less often, freeing up our contractors to spend more time cleaning the streets and litter-picking.
“One of the most important things people can do to help keep Croydon’s streets clean is to simply do the right thing and put their litter in the bin, where it belongs. We’re doing our bit by investing in street cleaning and upgrading our street bins to Bigbellys so that there are plenty of bins around to use in busy places, so please get on board with Don’t Mess with Croydon and put them to good use.”