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Recycling Operation Upgrades to Solar-Powered Bigbelly Units


JONESBORO – Arkansas State University has increased recycling technology by upgrading to Bigbelly, the smart waste and recycling system. Six double units have been installed around the university; each double unit consists of a solar-powered trash compactor unit and a single-stream recycling unit. These units will help the university save money, time, labor, and fuel, according to Helen McCoy, Facilities Management custodial coordinator.

Each Bigbelly replaces and costs about the same as four large outside trashcans. On average, each unit only has to be emptied every eight days because of the built in self-compactor. This saves about $16 of labor each day for every two units. When each unit gets close to full, it sends an email to the waste management department to let them know how much longer to wait until it needs to be emptied.

Most of the regular trashcans are utilized for fast food bags and paper, which make them seem full and the excess paper is easily scattered by the wind or animals. However, Bigbelly is completely enclosed and self-compacting so it minimizes the amount of trash that usually sits on top of a normal trash can, which reduces the total amount of litter on campus.

Arkansas State University plans to add three more Bigbelly units to the campus because they are so efficient and ecofriendly. However, the university is not disposing of the trashcans that the Bigbelly units are replacing, they are simply moving them to other areas on campus that have fewer trashcans.

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Bigbelly units at Kays Hall