The solar panel that powers the compaction unit. The solar panel that powers the compaction unit. CREDIT: Taupo District Council
Parks Operations Supervisor Neville Brodie standing next to the new bin Parks Operations Supervisor Neville Brodie standing next to the new bin CREDIT: Taupo District Council

Self-compacting bins another first for Taupo

Wednesday 24 February 2010, 12:21PM
By Taupo District Council


Taupo District Council is trialling two solar-powered self compacting rubbish bins that automatically compact rubbish. These new bins are capable of receiving as much as 10 times the volume of waste that regular rubbish bins can receive.

The two ‘Big Belly Bins’ are being installed in coming weeks, and will be the first of their kind in New Zealand. The self-compacting bins are designed to save on operational costs because they require less emptying than regular bins.

The new bins are slightly larger than a regular kerbside bin. When the waste in the bin reaches a predetermined height, a trash height sensor automatically triggers a compaction cycle that condenses the contents into a small volume ready for collection and final disposal to the landfill.

This process of regular compaction means that the total volume of waste placed in the bins before they would need to be emptied could be up to 10 times the volume a conventional bin holds.

The initiative is a result of Taupo District Council refuse staff working closely together with local waste contractor Trans-Pacific to find more cost-effective waste solutions for the community.

Mayor Rick Cooper is in support of the initiative. “I think this is an absolutely brilliant idea, and yet another first for Taupo. It will save costs, as well as the environment.”

Infrastructure Services Group Manager Ted Anderson hopes that the new bins will prove to be popular with both staff and the public. “The idea is that we don’t have to empty the bins as often, or use as many plastic bags. If these two prove successful then we will certainly look at rolling out more of the self-compacting type bins.”

The units also run on solar-power, making them both an environmental friendly as well as a sound financial investment.

One of the bins will be located on the lakefront opposite Roberts Street, and the other behind the Superloo near the South Domain playground, both of which are identified as high foot-traffic areas.

Mr Anderson admits the new bins will have a certain novelty factor. “They are fascinating to watch, and I hope this will encourage people to make sure their litter goes in the bin and not on the ground.”