Solar Powered Waste & Recycling Bins Coming to MCC Building Exterior

Washington University School of Medicine is expanding the use of solar-powered waste and recycling bins on the medical campus. In May of 2017 two sets of the Bigbelly & Smartbelly waste stations will be installed around the exterior of the new Mid-Campus Center.

The Bigbelly Waste station is a solar compacting trash receptacle that is software-controlled and powered by solar energy. The Bigbelly waste component takes up as much space as the “footprint” of an ordinary trash can, but its capacity is five times greater. As waste collects inside a Bigbelly solar compactor, an internal infra-red “eye” senses when the bin is filling and triggers a compaction cycle.

The Smartbelly recycling container is also solar-powered and provides real-time fullness status to limit unnecessary collections and head off overflow issues before they become a problem. There are currently seven Bigbelly+Smartbelly double stations located around the 4515 Building and the Food Truck parking / picnic table area.

Bigbelly+Smartbelly stations log onto a software system known as CLEAN (Collection, Logistics, Efficiency and Notification) Management Console. Each station communicates via e-mail or text message, sending a notice to the responsible party when the container is nearly full. Notifications will also be sent via e-mail or text message when the stations are not operating properly or they are due for maintenance.

With the Bigbelly+Smartbelly systems the managing user has the ability to log onto the website and monitor all the stations, check conditions, real-time fullness level, daily collection activity, frequency to reach capacity, collection response time and a collection volume summary, daily, weekly or monthly.

Additional benefits of Bigbelly+Smartbelly station are: elimination of waste overflow, pest prevention, carbon footprint reduction, increased recycling, calculates waste diversion rates and provides invaluable operations data. These stations have improved the aesthetics of many campuses and have been well received once installed.