Croydon Council, London’s second largest borough, has attributed its cleaner streets to a successful community engagement programme and a £1.3m investment in its street cleansing services, which included the installation of 80 Bigbelly units across high footfall areas back in April.
In only six months since Bigbelly was installed the council has achieved an 88 per cent efficiency rating, which relates to the emptying of Bigbelly units only when full as opposed to emptying traditional bins, regardless of their fill level, as part of a collection round.
From April to September the council needed to make only 2,661 Bigbelly empties instead of what would have been approximately 10,000 empties using traditional litterbins.
This process is made possible by each Bigbelly smart station communicating directly with Veolia operatives to alert them as to when they require emptying, combined with the system’s solar powered compaction technology, which increases each unit’s capacity by six times its original area once full, lengthening the period in-between collections.
The installation also ran parallel with a raft of new measures to ensure clean streets and the council’s ‘Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride’ campaign, which combines council enforcement against fly-tippers with encouraging over 300 local volunteers to lead local community clear-ups.
The campaign’s messages aimed at discouraging members of the public from creating litter and fly-tipping were supported by artwork designed by local schoolchildren that was placed on Bigbelly units across the borough.
“We recognise that delivering effective waste and recycling initiatives requires a multi-faceted approach. Through the ‘Don’t Mess With Croydon’ campaign and significantly increasing our investment in street cleansing services we’ve not only made our streets cleaner but also improved the council’s efficiency levels when it comes to waste collection. The time that we no longer unnecessarily spend emptying bins that are only half or even a quarter full, made possible through Bigbelly, is now being spent on other areas of street cleansing.”
Councillor Stuart Collins, Croydon Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Clean and Green Croydon
Croydon Council’s investment also saw the procurement of 12 barrow beats with electric hoovers, 13 more vacuums on the way this autumn, four mini mechanical sweepers and a caged tipper, which provides narrow access for fly-tip clearance.
Mark Jenkins, Sales Director at Egbert Taylor, which includes Bigbelly within its stable of waste collection brands, adds: “The shift away from traditional bins and traditional thinking when it comes to waste collection and towards a more innovative and intelligence-based approach is accelerating as more and more councils begin to understand the value fill level monitoring technology can add to their waste management strategy. The added dimension of using the units as a touch point to engage the community only strengthens Bigbelly’s position as a multi-purpose waste collection tool and a key driver for change.”