The Anonymous Widower

Big Belly Bins In Islington

I have a thing about street litter. My road isn’t particularly bad for rubbish, as we have a guy with a barrow, who patrols the area sweeping up anything that gets drops.

But it doesn’t deter people from piling waste around the litter bins in the road, as this picture shows.

Rubbish By A Bin In Hackney

Rubbish By A Bin In Hackney

I think a lot of what gets dumped is from people who have opted out of Hackney’s rcycling scheme, as bags often seem to be full of fast food packaging and disposable nappies. But some is definitely from commercial premises, as at times, I’ve seen people unloading rubbish by the bins from the back of pick-ups or vans.

I’ve passed the bin shown below at the Angel a couple of times, but today I had a good look.

An Islington Big Belly

An Islington Big Belly

It does appear to be in a better state than Hackney’s traditional bin. Perhaps those who think they will pile litter by bins, think that it’s got a camera inside.

The Big Belly web site, isn’t the easiest to navigate, but for a good explanation go to this page on the Islington web site. This is an extract.

The Big Belly units use solar power to compact litter so can hold up to eight times more litter than a normal bin, and email council staff when they need emptying.

Now under a pilot scheme 30 of the bins – which are also used in Times Square, New York – are being placed at busy recycling and litter hotspots in Islington, where street bins fill quickly.

I don’t know for sure, but I suspect as the bins are solar powered, they probably don’t need to be connected to any services. I did read on their web site, that they use SMS messaging to call for emptying.

I like the concept and suspect that it will get developed in the future to be even better and provide other services.

June 29, 2015 - Posted by | World | , , ,


  1. Sounds a great idea, and I wish they had them here! There are two bins close to my house; one is at the bus stop and the other is on the corner of the side road. I see neighbours sending their children out with bags of food packaging and good waste to put them by the bin on the corner – they used to be able to put it in the bin, but they changed the bin a few months ago to one with a letterbox opening rather than just an open topped, one. So now they put them by the bin. The council do empty those bins on a regular basis, I often see them being emptied on my way to the gym in the morning.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | June 29, 2015 | Reply

  2. I’ve since found their /UK web site, which is much more sakes oriented. This is the page for the bin.

    They say this.

    Provided on an operational lease at only £21 per unit per week. Each unit has been proven to return an average £77 per week in savings and efficiencies

    Looks like a no-brainer to me.

    Comment by AnonW | June 29, 2015 | Reply

  3. Does to me, but councils and councillors don’t always have brains!!!!

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | June 29, 2015 | Reply

    • I have a feeling that these bins might nudge better behaviour out of the public! If each bin actually gives the council an income, probably subject to placement, I think we’ll see lots more in the UK.

      Also would firms like MacDonalds sponsor them by their restaurants?

      There’s a story here about one being trialled outside McDonalds in Inverness.

      Comment by AnonW | June 29, 2015 | Reply

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