Washtenaw Community College continually strives to find ways to reduce the Colleges’ environmental impact and to improve sustainability. In an effort to encourage recycling, the College has installed 7 Bigbelly recycling and trash compactor stations around campus. The Bigbelly stations, located near building entranceways and in high traffic areas, make recycling more convenient. In addition to their convenience, the recycling and trash compactor stations contribute to the reduction of waste by utilizing a variety of modern technologies.
The Bigbelly stations are solar powered and completely off the grid. This design characteristic allows for a Bigbelly station to be placed in the most effective location for collecting recyclables and waste. Further, the need for expensive underground cabling is eliminated, which greatly reduces installation costs. The solar panels run the compactor unit, which allows for the Bigbelly to accumulate 150 gallons of material before required emptying – about 5 times the capacity of standard bins.
The Bigbelly stations are online. Each Bigbelly station reports its accumulated material to the Recycle Operations Manager by means of a three tier email notification system; there is no question about when a station needs to be emptied.
The Bigbelly’s high capacity, coupled with the ability of managers to be notified of when a station needs to be emptied, reduce both fuel costs associated with inspecting the stations and the man-hours needed to do the inspections.
In addition to the Bigbelly’s convenience, reduction in fuel costs, and time savings, the Bigbelly stations look great! The large blue roll open lids are a beacon for collecting recyclable materials. The College will continue to strive to offer our students, faculty, and staff the best recycling options available in our effort to make our campus more sustainable.