Two months ago, high-tech solar-powered trash-compacting garbage cans made their debut on Love Lane in Mattituck. And so far, town officials say, they’ve been a huge success.
According to Jeff Standish, Southold Town’s director of public works, the twin BigBelly garbage and recycling receptacles compact trash efficiently enough that the town has had to empty them 60 percent less often compared to standard trash cans.
And the garbage bins have also endured several public events without overflowing — a problem the town had with normal bins.
“It’s doing exactly what we expected it to do,” Mr. Standish said.
That efficiency will only improve, Mr. Standish added, since the town was unsure how often to empty the cans. Once summer has passed, the cans will need to be emptied even less, he added.
The BigBelly cans, which were installed June 22, also include space for recycling, which has cut solid waste by more than a third, said Councilman Bill Ruland.
“We’re trying to increase our recycling,” he said at Tuesday’s work session meeting. “If you walk up and down the street, there are next to no papers on the sidewalk.”
The garbage cans are equipped with anti-vandalism technology, too, Mr. Standish said. If the can is moved or jarred, sensors send an alert to his cellphone.
So could more BigBelly cans be coming to town properties, streets and beaches? Maybe, but funding has been hard to come by. Mr. Standish said the town has been looking for outside funding, but “we’ve struck out on all grants so far.”
Photo caption: BigBelly cans on Love Lane in Mattituck. (Credit: Paul Squire)