Recycling That Works

A Truly Sustainable Program

Implementing effective and sustainable public space recycling programs is a lot more complicated than just putting out a few recycling bins. Creating the infrastructure to monitor and service these locations is a challenge that most cities have been unable to tackle in scale. But BigBelly Solar is changing that by creating an intelligent infrastructure to support ongoing operations and free up staffing and resources to support new and expanded recycling programs.

The Philadelphia Recycling Story
In 2009 The City of Philadelphia installed 210 recycling components as part of their city wide BigBelly deployment. The city collected the following data highlighting the effectiveness of the new public space recycling program.

• 210, 2-component stations with single stream recycling components placed throughout the city.
• On average, each recycling component generated 225 lbs of recyclable commodities per month.
• Per month, a total of 23.5 tons of material are being diverted from landfills and recycled.
• The city is receiving $50 per ton by recycling this material and avoiding $63 in landfill tipping fees.
• The total benefit to the city is estimated at $113 per ton, or $2599 per month.

Although the city initially deployed the BigBelly System to reduce operation costs, they are seeing additional monetary benefits from the introduction of public space recycling.

Getting to Zero Waste
A study conducted on the Halifax Waterfront measured the effectiveness of the BigBelly System at diverting organics and recyclables from the waste stream.“ The public spaces recycling program along the Halifax Harbourwalk has been highly successful and we are proud to engage in this progressive, green initiative,” said Colin MacLean, President & CEO, Waterfront Development Corp. “The visitor experience has improved and recycling makes our waste management incredibly efficient. “Recycling rates, especially for beverage containers, were significant at 95% diversion after just three months,” explained John Zupo, President, Nestlé Waters Canada. “The combined diversion rate for the container and paper streams was also impressive, with a diversion rate of 83% of total containers and paper generated.”