I saw a Big Belly!

It was big! And green! And solar-powered!

You might be confused right now. I seem to be on a theme of cool life-changing inventions since that post about the Slingshot, because the Big Belly is a solar-powered trash compactor.

I saw one yesterday while walking on the East Side in Manhattan. I almost missed it because it was on the side of the street under the shade of a tree (how does it get enough sunlight? Go figure!). I had to stop and take a picture.

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Here are the cross streets too (I thought I might forget so I took a picture to remember):
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I only read about the Big Belly in a news article last week, so I may not have even known or noticed what it was if I hadn’t! It is a pretty cool machine because it runs completely on a renewable source of energy and it helps with an important issue: solid waste management.

The trash compactor helps the most by cutting trash collection costs. Since the trash compactor is a trash can that compacts the trash it receives, it can cut the number of trips needed to transfer trash from one site to the landfill.

The company, Big Belly Solar, estimates that the City of Philadelphia will save $13 million over 10 years by using 500 Big Belly solar compactors. That money can go to other projects such as recycling programs and green urban space development!

I hope I see more of these around the city soon, but I also hope that people do not throw recyclables into them. There should be a recycling bin or station next to each Big Belly, since after the trash has been compacted, recyclable materials would be difficult to retrieve.

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