Solar-powered, trash-compacting garbage can reduces need for truck pickups

April 21, 2009
Solar-powered, trash-compacting garbage can reduces need for truck pickups
Sea Horse Power Co., bigbelly.com

“Garbage can” might be too crude a term for BigBelly, a solar-powered trash receptacle from Sea Horse Power Co., Needham, Mass., that compacts waste. It holds four times more trash than other waste receptacles with the same footprint. So although it is has only a 32-gallon bin, BigBelly holds 180 gallons of uncompressed trash. And because it holds so much more trash, collection trucks can cut back on pick-up schedules, saving gas and time.

The leakproof housing and all materials are RoHS compliant. It is made mostly of recycled materials — plastic and sheet metal. A polycrystalline silicon cell protected by a polycarbonate bubble generates about 30 W of nominal power. The solar cell keeps a spillproof 12-V battery charged. The battery, in turn, powers a 1/6 -hp dc gear motor that uses a chain drive to compact trash, exerting 1,250 lb of force over a 41-sec. compacting cycle. A microprocessorbased controller senses trash levels and monitors system status. The 300-lb device costs about $3,000.

BigBelly also comes with CLEAN — Collection Logistics Efficiency and Notification. It lets the device wirelessly send text messages to an online server about its status, including how much trash it is holding. Those scheduling pick-ups can see which units are full by going to a password-protected Web site. Then they can send trucks only to cans that are actually full, or close to it, saving fuel and time.

Sponsored Recommendations

Pumps Push the Boundaries of Low Temperature Technology

June 14, 2024
As an integral part of cryotechnology, KNF pumps facilitate scientific advances in cryostats, allowing them to push temperature boundaries and approach absolute zero.

The entire spectrum of drive technology

June 5, 2024
Read exciting stories about all aspects of maxon drive technology in our magazine.

MONITORING RELAYS — TYPES AND APPLICATIONS

May 15, 2024
Production equipment is expensive and needs to be protected against input abnormalities such as voltage, current, frequency, and phase to stay online and in operation for the ...

Solenoid Valve Mechanics: Understanding Force Balance Equations

May 13, 2024
When evaluating a solenoid valve for a particular application, it is important to ensure that the valve can both remain in state and transition between its de-energized and fully...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!