Using green energy to go from clean to pristine

Solar power is about to play a vital new role in moving Kingston town centre’s streets from clean to pristine.

As part of the Cleaner Kingston campaign, Kingston Council and Kingstonfirst are introducing a new smart system for waste and recycling, in the form of 10 BigBelly bins. The bins use a solar panel to power an internal compactor, which is triggered by sensors when rubbish reaches a certain level inside the bin.

Councillor Terry Paton, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Resident Services said, 

“It currently costs £2 million a year clearing the borough’s streets of litter and waste. Money is tight and we could better spend some of this money to support other essential services.

“If we all pull together, we will save public money and have a cleaner borough.

“Despite being the same size as an ordinary street bin, the compactor means BigBelly bins can store up to eight times more waste, a maximum of 800 litres, reducing the costs of bin collections by an average of 70 per cent.

“When each bin is nearly full, an email and text is sent to waste contractors, giving them realistic timeframes for collection and eliminating the current ‘milk round’ system.”

Ros Morgan, Kingstonfirst’s Chief Executive said,

“The design eliminates birds and vermin scattering rubbish across the streets, reducing the need for additional street cleaning and litter picking.

“They will be available in various locations throughout Clarence Street, Fife Road and Castle Street, with white footsteps painted onto the street directing pedestrians to the nearest BigBelly Bin.”

The new bins will be introduced later this week (week ending 28 August) for a six month trial at a cost of £10,000.

The Cleaner Kingston campaign is targeting five problems areas identified by residents through our All in One survey: general littering, cigarette butts, chewing gum, dog fouling and, in some parts of the borough, street urination.