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Rosslyn Says to Trash: Get In My Belly

by ARLnow.com July 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm 2,391 2 Comments

If you live or work in Rosslyn, you might have noticed something different on the sidewalks.  The Rosslyn Business Improvement District recently finished installing 30 Big Belly solar trash compactors and 12 Big Belly recycling units around the neighborhood, in an effort to create “a more eco-friendly urban district.”

It works like this: Using only solar power (even in the shade), the receptacles compact trash so efficiently that each holds about 5 times as much refuse as a normal garbage can. That means it can save 4 out of every 5 collection trips, for an 80 percent fuel savings.

And not only does the Big Belly compactor save fuel, it also saves money at a time when the county is cutting back on the frequency of trash collection along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor due to budget constraints. Plus, the devices can potentially save money on pest control by keeping rodents out of the trash.

All those advantages don’t come cheap, however. Each Big Belly compactor costs between $3,195 and $3,999, according to an Associated Press article. That means the BID’s acquisitions likely cost upwards of $100,000.

“One year ago, the Rosslyn BID was in the forefront when we added the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor’s first permanent recycling bins to county sidewalks,” Rosslyn BID Executive Director Cecilia Cassidy said. “This takes that commitment one step further, helping reduce trash pickups, which save energy and money.”

County Board Chairman Jay Fisette welcomed the BID’s commitment.

“The County applauds the Rosslyn BID for proving that it is possible to leverage technology to achieve cost savings and improve services,” Fisette said.

Photo via Rosslyn BID.

  • Thes

    This is pretty awesome. WTG Rosslyn BID!

  • Mike

    I like the idea and am glad the taxpayers aren’t paying for this unproven technology. I bet these things have a high breakdown rate.

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