Thursday, February 17, 2011

Solar Powered Trash Cans: or a flaw in design as I absolutely refuse to touch one

  • Philadelphia uses BigBelly Solar trash cans.
  • Philadelphia replaced 700 trashcans with 500 BigBelly Solar cans.
  • Philadelphia went from 17 collections a week to 5 collections a week.
  • Philadelphia saved $900,000 in the first year.
  • BigBelly Solar trash cans uses solar power to compact trash up to 5x more than a regular can.
  • BigBelly Solar trash cans have wireless connectivity and monitoring informing the city when the can is full.


  • Big Belly Solar cans require you to touch a handle.
  • These handles are disgusting to touch.
  • People don't want to touch the handle.
  • BigBelly Solar cans should have a pedal that allows people to throw their trash away without having to touch a handle.


  1. And if you do touch a disgusting handle, you risk having it snap closed on your finger! It hurts, trust me.

  2. I heard there are people you can hire to open the bin for you.

  3. I think they're brilliant in that they save the already financially strapped city money that can be used on much more interesting things than trash - and they are teaching people a bit more about recycling. As for having to touch the handle? Well, that's what hand sanitizers are for.

  4. Oh, I don't deny that they're a good idea - but they really should have that pedal.

  5. It's disgusting. Pedals are a great idea!

  6. You can always carry sanitizing wipes with you. After you use the wipes to open and close the bin, just toss them to the ground. ;)

  7. Couldn't they make those Center City Sweeper People hold the bin open for you? I mean, it would be making their job easier, too..

  8. That would be a great idea, but it might be tough in a city that gets many feet of snow each winter. The pedals would get buried by all the ice and dirty snow. Somewhere like California, on the other hand...