If you thought the pilot composting program was good idea for Greenpoint then wait until you hear the latest news coming from the Department of Sanitation. The agency has officially upped its own ante by announcing that Greenpoint and Williamsburg streets will be getting nearly 200 new solar powered trash compactor bins in just a few short weeks.
Dubbed Big Belly Solar Compactors, these trash bins will be replacing the traditional green wire cans-a common fixture on nearly every major street corner in the neighborhood. So what makes these new compactors so great? A peek on the manufacturer’s website boasts Big Belly Solar’s trash bins can compact over 150 gallons of garbage compared to only 35 gallons of the standard-issued green trash can.
The company says Big Belly cans are aimed at reducing fossil fuels and are designed to be used without the use of hydraulic fluids. To date, Big Belly Solar Compactor bins have been such a hit they can be found everywhere–including 13 US cities, Scotland, the rest of the UK, and Sweden. Soon enough Greenpoint will be added to that growing list.
Yet despite the solar compactor’s raging success worldwide and domestically, as it is with any new green technology, it doesn’t come cheap. Every Big Belly Solar Compactor installed costs $2,900 dollars.
According to the DSNY, a total of 192 cans will be evenly spread out between Greenpoint and Williamsburg in high traffic areas such as Manhattan Avenue, Bedford Avenue, Grand Street, Broadway, Metropolitan Avenue, and Graham Avenue. Trash collection will be picked up three days a week, corresponding with regular trash pick days.
While the addition of both the composting bins and Big Belly’s compactors can be considered by some as a boon to the neighborhood, especially given our notorious rep as looking like Pig Pen’s Palace, Community Board 1 doesn’t see it as such a hot idea. In fact not only do they dislike the idea, they’re pissed that the DSNY failed to include the community into the decision to swap in the shiny new trash bins.
In a harshly written letter to DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, CB1 Chairwoman Fuller stated community board members had “extreme outrage at the DSNY’s most recent idiocy…There was no prior discussion or consultation with the Community Board No. 1 on these sidewalk obstructions.”
It should be noted this isn’t the first time Community Board 1 got their feathers ruffled over a DSNY program. They also opposed the composting program citing concerns that the 30 extra trucks needed to haul the organic waste into the Newtown Creek Waste Transfer facility would add to the overburdened truck traffic in the neighborhood.
“It’s two tests going on at the same time,” Fuller told DNAinfo. “One will clutter the sidewalks. One will clutter the streets. We’re just being over-saturated with new things that come into the community. It seems like we’re the dumping ground. We live here. We see things they don’t see. Give us a seat at the table, so we can help them make the pilot program transition easy.”
Whether you like the idea or not these trash compactors are headed our way. Look out for them in the upcoming weeks. After a one year, the DSNY will decide how well the solar-powered trash cans are working on the regular litter collection route.
So what’s your take Greenpoint? Do you love it or hate the idea?