Environmental efforts across multiple countries are redefining goals towards a “Zero Waste” society… A society where nothing is put to waste and everything is recycled, renewed or used for compost and waste-to-energy generation. Even if we have this idea for a waste-free environment, we still have to consider how to reduce the costs of collection and processing of waste materials so as to make these noble goals and efforts sustainable.

Solid Waste Collection (SWC) is known to be expensive and energy-intensive. Studies show that cities are actually spending $2,000 per rubbish bin every year just to collect waste. This is because garbage trucks and crews are dispatched 2 or 3 times a day just to make sure that there is no overflow of garbage in high traffic areas. The trucks consume HUNDREDS of Millions of fuel in the Australia alone. This is a major drain to public funds and worker hours that could have been used for other important tasks. Thus, it has impeded future efforts for large-scale public space recycling programs.

A rising number of communities around the world are taking innovative steps in lessening the frequency of trips and reducing fuel consumption in waste collection. These efforts have created great savings in operational costs and reduced the carbon footprint of waste collection.

This is where BigBelly and Solar Bins Australia combines to deliver solar-powered remote monitoring and on-site compaction to reduce collection demand enablingpublic-space recycling in communities. It employs the use of network monitoring software that provides information on deployment and management of assets and crews. This allows operators to gain visibility of operations and reduce collections by 70-80%. The result is that it saves up millions of dollars of city funds and helps communities’ self-funded recycle collection projects.

This is just the beginning of an ongoing quest for a more sustainable future. It involves innovation in many areas – especially when it comes to using clean, renewable, zero-carbon energy sources in solid waste management. In the pursuit of achieving a zero waste environment, we must also consider designing and manufacturing products that are easier and cheaper to reuse, recycle or compost.