Markham’s Big Blue Belly Solar Compaction Public Space Recycling Project

Projects Description

The Town of Markham is a leader in waste diversion and is the first community in North America to pilot the Big Belly Solar Compaction unit for the collection of recyclables in public spaces. Markham has installed 18 Big Blue Belly units in the downtown business areas of Unionville and Markham. At the same time, the Town has agreed to be the first Canadian community to pilot a computer electronic monitoring system that will use wireless technology to send information to the Town indicating when the units are full. The Town will conduct extensive monitoring to determine the unit’s payback and cost savings related to reduced collection time and increased revenues from additional recyclables collected. The project is expected to reduce collection costs by 50% and increase recycling capture rates. CIF is contributing $40,126 (46%) of the total project costs.

Tested using solar compactor public space bins on recyclables in two pilot BIAs. Also introduced extensive public education program in pilot BIAs. Resulted in compaction rates reducing volumes up to 86% higher than traditional bins and significant increase in diversion rates (up to 90% in one BIA). Collection labour and vehicle costs to service these units estimated to be reduced by 50-86% and payback between 2.6 and 4.5 years.


Documents Final Report: Public Space Recycling: Big BLUE Belly Solar Recycling Containers
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Related Projects
Categories Best Practices | Public Spaces |



More Information
Project # 643.13
Proponent Markham, City of
CIF Funding $40,126
Date Approved June 25, 2011
Date Completed February 29, 2012