Solar waste and recycling system coming to Elk River sites

Beginning with this season’s first Riverfront Concert on June 7, the city of Elk River will be implementing the use of the BigBelly solar waste and recycling system.

The BigBelly solar intelligent waste and recycling collection system is designed to dramatically lower the operating costs, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the collection process of garbage.  These solar compactors are patented, compacting trash receptacles that are self-powered by solar energy and software-controlled.

The BigBelly has five times greater capacity than a normal receptacle which in turn saves the city money on garbage pick-up. These solar waste and recycling stations feature an enclosed design that reduces odors and keeps litter neatly contained. The enclosed design also cuts down on pest issues by preventing access to their food sources.

The purchase of the BigBelly system was made possible due to Sherburne County, which gave the city a grant for $18,000 toward the purchase. The rest of the $16,558.85 came from the landfill abatement funds that are required to be spent on waste reduction activities.

The BigBellys will be located at the River’s Edge Commons Park downtown on both the upper and lower levels, Youth Athletic Complex (YAC), Orono Softball Complex and one at Orono beach.