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Big Belly compacting bin prevents overflow of rubbish

Xtreme Waste has been trialling an expensive solar bin that compacts waste in an effort to control the amount of visitor rubbish in Raglan.

Rick Thorpe, of Xtreme Waste, last week told the Raglan Community Board that the solar Big Belly bin being trialled near the skate ramp at Te Kopua Domain could fit about eight times more rubbish than a standard bin, and therefore didn’t have to be serviced as regularly.

He said the 100-litre bin had a hydraulic motor, which ran on solar power, to compact the waste.

The bin is programmed to send a text message to say when it is half full and three-quarters full.

During the six months that the bin had been trialled for, it only had to be emptied about 1.5 times a week on average, Rick said. Standard bins could be emptied up to 14 times a week in summer.

Rick said the problem with standard bins was that people did not want to put their hands inside to push down their rubbish, so bins quickly overflowed.

Xtreme Waste had worked with Raglan Engineering to put tops on the standard bins but seagulls would still reach underneath to get out the rubbish.

Rick said Raglan would benefit from more solar bins in areas such as the wharf and near Jo’s Takeaways at Te Kopua Domain, where the seagulls are attracted to the rubbish from food.

“But these are expensive things. It costs $11,000 to buy one.”

Another option was to hire the bins, he said.

“If you swapped the 90 odd bins in the town with Big Belly bins then you could reduce the servicing of them. The cost might come out similar.”

Rick said Xtreme Waste hoped to look at ways to get funding for more Big Belly bins in Raglan.

He said there were 300 Big Belly bins in use in the Thames-Coromandel and Hauraki districts.

Inger Vos

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