Kathleen Cook of Atlantic Associates tests out a new Big Belly at Richmond Street & Atlantic Avenue.

The City of Boston is adding 400 new solar-powered “Big Belly” trash compactors with recycling around the city, including several in the North End / Waterfront area. This will dramatically increase the number of Big Bellies, bringing the total in the city to 575, according the the Department of Public Works.

Vector Media is purchasing the barrels on behalf of the city, in exchange for an exclusive contract to place advertising on the barrel sides. The savings are expected to be $3 million to the City and the ad agency will return a minimum of $250,000 of its advertising revenue back to the city for the next 5 years.

Because they are so large, only high traffic intersections with plenty of sidewalk space will see them. We’ve already seen a few new ones added along Commercial and Hanover Streets where many of the sidewalks have corner bump-outs.

The compactors detect new trash every 30 seconds and press it down, if necessary. Once at 70% full, a wireless signal goes to DPW to empty the barrel.

Feel free to share your comments on the pros/cons below.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

8 COMMENTS

  1. The “big bellies” will be an improvement over those ‘little’ baskets one sees hanging off lamp posts which ALWAYS seem to be full! I hope there will be a ‘maintenance’ plan in place to keep them clean & empty at least once a week. Dont be surprised to see some residence use them in place of their tri-weekly trash pick-up. When I first came to Boston (1950’s) I was amazed at how dirty the city was. Yes, There have been improvements since but there’s always room for more.

  2. Love the big bellies but NOT at the northern (western?) corner of Clark and Commercial. For cars coming down Clark to turn onto Commercial, the view to the left is already blocked. Now you are blinded by the big boy. It’s a car accident (or worse, bike accident) waiting to happen.
    Move that sucker to the southeast corner!

    • I petitioned Stephen Passacantilli, Senior Aide to Sal LaMattina, to address the Clark and Commercial St location. He said the big bellies will be relocated by this weekend.

  3. BIG BELLIES ARE GREAT, BUT TOO BAD MOST
    PEOPLE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD DO NOT USE THEM.

    WILL IT SOLVE THE RAT PROBLEM? NO.

    IN ORDER TO GET RID OF THE RATS IN THIS
    NEIGHBORHOOD WE HAVE TO GET RID OF THE
    PIGS THAT RESIDE IN THESE APT. BUILDINGS
    WHO PUT THEIR TRASH OUT 7 DAYS A WEEK.

    SOMETIMES THE TRUTH HURTS, BUT THESE ARE
    THE FACTS, LIKE IT OR NOT.

    THE RATS GOT TO MY CAR WIRES 4 TIMES AND
    I CONTRIBUTE THAT TO AN ABSENTEE LANDLORD
    WHO HAS NOT ENFORCED THE RULES IN HIS
    BUILDINGS. ONE OF THE BUILDINGS LOOKS LIKE
    A CONDEMNED BUILDING.

  4. Please, Keep them Clean !!!! I do not throw things on the ground~~but I WILL NOT touch those handles on the Big-Bellies !!!! I take my trash with me till I get home !!

  5. These machines are incredible! i love the closed top, they don’t have varmints and alike around them! touché to the city for getting them in return for advertising rights, its win win for city and residents!

  6. Who’s in Charge here? Now there is gross advertising on the BigBelly Solar dumpsters. Wait, if you don’t see it, you soon will. How about a radical: RocktheVote.com “fist pumping” permanent posterboard on the container’s sides? Ugly! What else will appear? Is there revenue from it? Who decides where and what? We need uncluttered minds without billboards everywhere, on our clean streets.

Comments are closed.