Council considers £144K investment in ‘green’ litter bins

Cllr Joy Squires trying out one of the solar powered bins last summer Cllr Joy Squires trying out one of the solar powered bins last summer

Councillors will consider purchasing 28 new bins for Worcester's city centre – including a number of recycling bins and solar powered bins designed to hold more - when the Environment Committee meets on 29 January.

In the summer the Council conducted a seven-week trial of "Big Belly" solar-powered compaction litter bins, which hold up to eight times more waste than standard bins. The sun's rays charge a 12-volt battery in each one, which in turn powers a compacting system so that more waste can be held. When the hi-tech bins do need emptying, they send out an alert message to Council staff.

The bins open using a handle or a foot pedal and are self-closing once litter has been deposited – making it impossible for gulls to pull any waste out of them.

After the trial, 80% of respondents to a residents' survey said they found the bins easy to use and 78% said they liked the look of them – with 95% saying they wanted more specific recycling bins in the city centre.

There are currently 53 standard cast iron litter bins located in Worcester's city centre, which are emptied on average three times per day – and one recycling point in Angel Place.

Councillors will now consider the additional purchase of 17 solar-powered 'Big Belly' bins; five non-solar powered 120 litre capacity bins in busy city locations; and six 'recycling on the go' bins located between Foregate Street station and Cathedral Square, bringing the total number of recommended new bins to 28.

The existing cast iron bins would be deployed in other areas of the city centre, or could be moved to complement the new bins if required.

"As a Council, we're keen to look at new and innovative ways of delivering services more effectively and efficiently," says Cllr Alan Feeney, Vice Chair of the Environment Committee at Worcester City Council.

"The investment we're considering would help us to deliver high standards of cleanliness and reduce gull scattered litter, as well as increasing the number of recycling points in the city centre."

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