About this good practice
The Big Belly project consists of a system of 32 smart street bins for waste collection (recyclable waste and other municipal waste) that were installed in the central area of Bucharest to encourage selective collection. One of the project`s main advantages is that it includes an intelligent waste compaction system, powered by solar energy, through photovoltaic panels, which increases the storage capacity of the containers, reaching the collection of a quantity 5 times larger than the their volume. The Big Belly containers communicate through a reporting system, automatically transmitting the degree of filling, so that sanitation workers do not have to make several trips to collect the waste from a container that is not full yet.
This type of solution provides a way to save on cost and emissions for the waste collection activity that the municipality performs. The Big Belly system proved to be more efficient by 300% when compared to the regular waste infrastructure and it reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
The stakeholders in the project are the Municipality of the 3rd District of Bucharest, through the General Directorate of Sanitation of the 3rd District, in partnership with the companies that invested in the solution - GreenPoint Management and Coca-Cola HBC, all for providing the benefits that come with the solution for the people of Bucharest.
The approximate value of the Big Belly project was 220.000 euro. The General Directorate of Sanitation of the 3rd District of Bucharest is responsible for collecting materials and their proper subsequent management.
Evidence of success
Operational costs for waste collecting in the area where the Big Belly system is implemented has been reduced by 55%, and redirected from landfill the equivalent of 540 000 plastic bags.
By mid-2020, through the Big Belly network of containers, 49 tons of recyclable materials were collected in the 15 containers dedicated to the collection of recyclable waste, i.e. 56% of the total volume of waste collected in all containers.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Big Belly solution is applicable in any country in any part of the world, not needing a power source it can be installed anywhere.