April 1, 2008 Able to compact gallons of rubbish with a single gulp, the BigBelly solar trash compactor cuts public garbage collection emissions by up to 80 percent and operates for an entire day on the equivalent energy it takes to make a piece of toast. The compactor is the only on-site solar-powered trash compactor currently available.

BigBelly is designed for commercial applications and used in busy places like shopping districts, food courts, and entertainment venues, or in remote places such as parks and beaches. Holding up to five times the volume of ordinary trash receptacles, the solar-powered compactor has a 150 gallon capacity and exerts 1,200 pounds of force. All of this is run purely from solar energy and using less than 5 watt hours per day. Municipalities and city parks that usually empty garbage cans twice a day can now empty BigBelly once a week, reducing fuel costs and carbon emissions from garbage truck trips.

BigBelly was created using SolidWorks 3D CAD software to optimize the unit’s design and accelerate development to meet customer demand. Standing at 50 inches tall and weighing 300 pounds, the unit stores energy even on cloudy days. The makers of BigBelly recently unveiled recycling units that connect to its compactors or can stand alone, for customers who want to extend their environmentally friendly waste solutions. The BigBelly Recycling Unit looks similar to the BigBelly, but offers an insertion hole for cans and bottles, mixed paper or both.

First released in 2004, the BigBelly compaction systems have helped municipalities, universities, parks, zoos, transportation authorities and retail outlets to save money and reduce the environmental impact of waste management.

The world’s first solar-powered, cordless trash compaction system, BigBelly has been deployed in over 35 cities and towns across the U.S. and 15 other countries.

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