Philadelphia, April 18, 2012 – The City of Philadelphia Streets Department has been recognized for “innovative community and government initiatives” by the Corbett Administration for the implementation of BigBelly Solar compacting litter baskets and recycling containers. The baskets have saved the City a million dollars in annual costs by reducing the trash collection rate per trash can from an average 17 times per week to 2.5 times per week. The award was part of the 16th Annual Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence, which were presented on April 17th, 2012.
“I commend the Streets Department on the installation of BigBelly Solar litter baskets, which have been both an economic and sustainable benefit to Philadelphia,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “I congratulate Commissioner Clarena I.W. Tolson, Deputy Commissioner Carlton Williams and the rest of the department on this great recognition.”
Beginning in April of 2009, the Streets Department replaced litter baskets with nearly 900 BigBelly solar-powered compacting litter baskets and more than 400 public recycling containers. The new technology has allowed for a dramatic increase in collection efficiency. The recycling containers mark the first time that Philadelphia has on-street public recycling, keeping approximately 23.5 tons per month of recyclable materials out of the trash stream.
“The Streets Department is proud to be using this innovative technology and to embrace ideas like Big Belly, ideas that save money and natural resources,” said Streets Commissioner Clarena Tolson. “We would like to thank Governor Corbett and the Department of Community and Economic Development for recognizing our ongoing measures to support Mayor Nutter’s commitment to advancing recycling and sustainability. The use of Big Bellies allowed for the introduction of public space recycling to the City for the very first time. This is one more important step towards achieving the City’s sustainability goals.”
Since December 2009, the Streets Department has installed BigBelly units with recyclers outside of Center City. Most of these have been installed in 12 commercial corridors throughout Philadelphia. Funding for BigBelly Solar baskets has come from Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, the City of Philadelphia Commerce Department, Cleaning and Streetscape project grants and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-EECGB grants. # # #