Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Trash Bins Going Solar on Marco’s Beach Access

Photos by Maria Lamb | Big Belly Solar Powered Trash Compactor installed at the Winterberry Beach Access designed by the Beach and Coastal Resources Advisory Committee.

Initially reported in June that trash bins are going solar and smart in Marco, these Big Belly Solar Powered trash bins not only collect trash, but also compacts them and then transmits a wireless signal to the garbage collectors letting them know it is full and time to pick up! There is a solar panel on top of the trash unit too!

In Marco Island last week, a Big Belly Solar Powered Trash Compactor was installed at the entrance of Winterberry Beach Access. It bears a special wrap designed by the Beach and Coastal Resource Advisory Committee and Marco Island Code Enforcement. The wrap design on the front of the Recycle unit bears the recognizable “LOVE YOUR BEACH” logo. For the Recycle unit, the wrap reflects the Wildlife commonly found on Marco’s beaches. The side wraps are replicas of Marco Island’s beach laws.

In Marco Island, Collier County Parks and Recreation has installed a total of 12 Solar Powered Big Belly Solar Powered Trash Compactors located at Tigertail Beach, South Beach and Caxambas Boat Park. When you stuff a large pizza box inside the old open-top garbage can it may seem full, and trash would often overflow with smelly garbage attracting irritating wildlife to feast.

According to Barry Williams, Director of Collier County Parks and Recreation, this was a partnership with their Solid and Hazardous Waste Division, and they are, “very excited to be participating in a system to keep our beaches clean and pristine.”

In addition, the City of Naples also purchased a Big Belly unit for Naples Pier and had plans to install a unit at Lowdermilk Park. They were very pleased with the success of the Naples Pier installation.

According to Marco’s Interim City Manager David Harden, Delray Beach installed Big Belly Solar units while he was the manager at the city there, and they were very pleased with how they worked.

County-wide, Big Belly units have been installed in all Collier County Parks and beaches. They can fit over 180 gallons of waste in one unit, are environmentally friendly, sturdy, wildlife cannot get into it, and has a foot pedal for ease of use. The Big Belly Units are two units side by side—one for trash and one for recycling. The recycling unit is not solar-powered, however.

The Big Belly Solar Powered Compactor is a joint project of the Beach and Coastal Resources Advisory Committee and Public Works.

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