Solar bins launched to flatten waste
New solar powered bins have arrived in Bath to help keep more litter off the streets.
The 26 bins, which have been installed around the city centre, have eight times the capacity than the average street bin because they can flatten rubbish thrown in them.
Two volume sensors trigger a compactor when the rubbish reaches a certain level and the solar panels mean the bins will power themselves.
Bath and North East Somerset Council, which has introduced the bins, says they will help in the fight against litter and urban gulls.
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Councillor David Dixon (Lib Dem, Oldfield), cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said the bins had been introduced following a year-long trial at Orange Grove.
He said: “It makes great sense because bins need emptying less frequently, meaning our staff can be deployed in the war against grime much more efficiently.
“People are the first line of defence against litter and detritus and, in future, they will find far fewer of our bins overflowing when they dispose of their rubbish responsibly.”
The bins are being leased by the council and cost £1,000 each. Mr Dixon said the bins should save the council approximately £30,000 a year, making them cost-neutral.
If the bins are successful, the council has said it will consider introducing more throughout the city.
Other upgrade options include a wireless monitoring system which sends text messages to staff telling them a bin is ready for emptying, and additional bins for recycling.
Council city centre neighbourhood team manager Bill Walters said the new bins would make a big difference to the appearance of the city.
He said: “They substantially reduce the risk of bins overflowing and looking unsightly.
“We can tell instantly when a bin needs emptying because it flashes green for okay, amber for filling up, and red for full.”
B&NES is asking members of the public to help keep normal bins clean and tidy by reporting when they are full to Council Connect via www.bathnes.gov.uk/reportit or emailing email@example.com or calling 01225 39 40 41.