Friday, July 2, 2010

"Get In My Belly!"

Why would anyone brag about their big belly?

Well, what if yours could compact trash (and no, we don’t mean the last meal you ate) and send text messages?

Because that’s exactly what Rosslyn’s solar-powered ‘Big Belly’ trash compactors can do.

As the name suggests, the trash containers are solar-powered, and because they can crush trash, they can store up to 5 times the amount of an ordinary trash can, saving on the number of collection trips needed. But even better, the compactors can send an SMS message to operators to let them know, it’s time to collect all that trash.*

Monique O’Grady with the Rosslyn Business Improvement District explains the BID just got 30 of the Big Belly trash compactors. O’Grady is practically giddy when she talks about the containers: “We love our Big Bellies, we love them!”

And not just because the name is fun to say, but because O’Grady says, they are expected to provide a great return on the investment dollar: “The wonderful thing about these Big Belly receptacles is that they eliminate about 4 out of every 5 collection trips. That’s about an 80% savings in fuel and other resources.”

If only they had trash cans that could empty themselves…

*O'Grady contacted WTOP to clarify a point: while the Big Belly trash compactors do indeed have that ability to SMS an operator to say "Empty me! Now!" the Rosslyn BID did not opt for that feature, figuring they could keep on top of the trash flow without it. Still, cool to know that the option is there...

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