Bin actually holds its contents

The solution to last month’s Coffee Time Challenge – on a bin that actually holds its contents – comes from Needham, Massachusetts

, in the US, where a company originally called the Seahorse Power Company was set up in 2003 with a mission to reduce fossil fuel consumption.
It came up with the idea of a solar-powered, rubbish-compacting bin, which they called ‘BigBelly’.
The device can hold 567 litres of rubbish and its compaction mechanism exerts 5.3kN of force. Its power consumption, supplied by the sun, is no more than 5Wh per day. By using compaction, it increases its effective capacity by five times and, when it needs emptying, the next generation of products coming to market will call the contractor.
The standard black machine is made of recycled ABS. The machine cannot be operated if either the rear access panel or the waste access door is open. It is not possible to gain access to the compaction area via the litter aperture. The compaction system is chain driven and uses no hydraulic fluids. Maintenance consists of lubricating the chains every six months and checking their tension. The batteries are standard, and can be recycled at the end of their life.
The first machine was installed in Vail Colorado in 2004. Other locations include: Fanuel Hall, Boston, Baltimore Inner Harbour and The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. A UK distributor, Environmentally Friendly Solutions in Cheshire, could help it to make an appearance in the UK.
The product has been so successful, the original manufacturing company now calls itself BigBelly Solar. The bin was designed using SolidWorks

Author
Tom Shelley

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