Bigbelly Solar Inc.

BigBelly Solar Unveils Smart Grid for Waste & RecyclingTM


Source: Bigbelly Solar Inc.

Data-driven operational changes fuel dramatic financial and environmental savings across hundreds of communities, campuses, corporate settings and park systems worldwide

NEWTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- BigBelly Solar today announced the launch of its next-generation intelligent waste & recycling collection system, the Smart Grid for Waste & RecyclingTM. The system features new and expanded capabilities at each layer:

  • From any web browser, a new management console provides unprecedented visibility and transparency into public space waste & recycling collection operations. New visualization tools and reporting capabilities provide powerful insights for more efficient management of operations, better activity tracking and enhanced auditing of results.
  • Behind the scenes, a network command center delivers software functionality to the waste & recycling stations, remote diagnostics, over-the-air software upgrades and proactive maintenance alerts.
  • On the street, in parks and on campus, the family of waste & recycling stations has been substantially expanded to address a broader range of customer situations:
    • The 4th generation BigBelly solar compactor is being introduced, with bi-directional communication, improved software integration & energy management, and new ruggedized features.
    • After piloting with several customers – including MIT and Markham, Ontario – the BigBelly compacting recycler is being launched to manage single-stream recycling in high-volume locations.
    • Leveraging learnings from numerous deployments about the essential value of real-time information, BigBelly Solar is debuting an entirely new family of SmartBelly components that sense but do not compact - with a broad set of waste, recycling and organics options to meet the needs of Zero Waste initiatives.

The combination of these “mix and match” system components enables a full range of custom-configured stations that address specific waste & recycling capacity and stream mix, including those locations where volumes do not support an investment in on-site compaction.

“BigBelly Solar has evolved from the creation of the patented solar compactor into an enterprise system provider for optimally managing public space waste & recycling collection operations. Every BigBelly and SmartBelly component senses activity and provides information to our customers in real-time,” said Barry Fougere, CEO of BigBelly Solar. “Combined with powerful historical analysis and reporting, these insights provide transparency and control to customers who previously had to assign peak resources at all times given the absence of data to support more targeted resourcing decisions. That visibility across the entire operation is also attractive at the executive level, which is under increasing pressure to justify investments and provide measurable and verifiable results to their stakeholders.”

“I can tell you that the CLEAN management console has made an enormous improvement in how we manage our operations,” said Marty Howell, Sustainability Manager for the City of El Paso, which has dropped 9 collections per week and eliminated weekend collections altogether with the BigBelly System. “We've seen a dramatic improvement in overall cleanliness, while reducing our operating expenses. Like all cities, our agencies are challenged to maintain service levels while dealing with tighter budgets, and we’ve found a solution that cuts costs without reducing service.'

'As the first municipality in North America to use the BigBelly solar compactors to collect recyclables, not waste, Markham has once again demonstrated its leadership in recycling and in the use of green technology,” said Mayor Frank Scarpitti of Markham, Ontario. “Not only are you saving your operational costs, your staff time, your trucks, you’re saving on carbon, and you’re giving the proper messaging by making recycling easy and garbage difficult. This is one more significant step toward achieving our sustainability and Zero Waste goals.'

“Over the past few years, the BigBelly System has helped us reduce operating costs while increasing recycling options and keeping the campus cleaner,” said Koby Weatherford, Landscape Maintenance Foreman at Texas A&M University. “We are excited to be the first US customer for BigBelly Solar's new SmartBelly system. The BigBelly solar compactor has been particularly helpful in our high-traffic areas and we look forward to gaining visibility and control in our less-trafficked areas with the SmartBelly solution.”

Data-driven insights, on-site compaction and a full range of Zero Waste recycling options – all powered by solar energy and utilizing advanced information technology – are a powerful combination. In times where customers of all types face difficult budget pressures, the ability to reduce collections while improving services levels is not a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. Similar to the “nega-watt” in grid energy efficiency, BigBelly Solar delivers the “nega-mileTM” – helping customers remove 7-8 out of every 10 trash vehicle trips from their streets, reducing the carbon footprint and fuel cost drain for vehicles that typically average less than 3 MPG.

Supported by various leasing options to align system savings with costs, the BigBelly Solar intelligent waste & recycling collection system is a true asset for city, university, park system and corporate leadership looking to dramatically reduce their environmental impact while simultaneously achieving substantial budgetary savings.

About BigBelly Solar

BigBelly Solar is a leading global provider of innovative and sustainable solutions for the management of waste & recycling, with more than 800 customers in virtually every U.S. state and 30 countries. The BigBelly Solar intelligent waste & recycling collection system combines a powerful management console, software-enabled network command center, and family of mix and match waste & recycling stations into a toolkit that enables municipalities, colleges & universities, government facilities and other institutional customers to reduce the operating costs associated with collection by 80 percent. Recognized as a C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group best practice, BigBelly Solar is also enabling its customers in becoming visible leaders in practices that are more environmentally sustainable – displacing fossil fuel usage through renewable energy, increasing recycling rates, reducing litter and associated public health concerns, and creating a messaging platform to engage users and influence more environmentally-conscious behaviors. For more information, visit

Note to editors: BigBelly Solar, BigBelly, SmartBelly, Eliminating the Waste in Waste Collection, Smart Grid for Waste & Recycling, and nega-mile are trademarks of BigBelly Solar, Inc. All rights reserved.

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