Common trash talkin': Park getting infusion of Big Bellies

Big Bellies awaiting unpacking

Bettlebrox photographed some of the 30 new solar-powered trash receptacles about to be unwrapped on the Common.

Posted under this Creative Commons license and in the Universal Hub pool on Flickr.



    Free tagging: 


    Better Design is needed

    They have these around Kenmore for many years. It's a nice idea but the design leaves much to be desired -- the pull handle gets covered in goo and other sticky stuff as people use them. Sometimes you can't pull the handle to open the lid as some trash has become wedged in the hinge area. If you do get it open the inside is really disgusting.

    The problem is that they are never cleaned and after a few years it shows.

    I can't argue with the price if they are gifts but I've got to think there is a way to design them such that people don't need to touch anything when throwing trash away.

    I agree

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    The handles are disgusting, especially in the summer when they are usually also overflowing. Would it be that difficult to have the garbage men give the handle a quick wipe down? Or at minimum have the guys that remove stickers every few months do a through cleaning. Municipalities are great at buying/building shiny new things, but then doing little to no maintenance. It should be a requirement that before taxpayer money can be spent on something, the maintenance of it should be planned out and allocated.

    They send cleaning and repair

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    They send cleaning and repair crews out at night, at least during the warmer weather months. They drive those ridiculous mini-cars that Jeremy Clarkson inevitably gets stuck in and/or crashes.

    The handles are pretty friggin disgusting after a day in the summer sun, especially around the Pru when the Sox are at home—because they're of course not allowed in the Back Bay. You find they live south of Boylston Street only. Touchless design would be ideal, so just this once I'll thank the NIMBYs for impeding progress (or, "progress").

    They need to add a foot lever

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    They need to add a foot lever to open the lid so you can open it with your foot instead of touching the handle.


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    My first thought was that it was a new Hubway station.

    I hate these things! The

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    I hate these things! The design of the trash compactors is awful. I frequently see them overflowing in the South End.

    I must say that I find that the design he Big Belly recycling bins aren't that bad, but they're not distributed well throughout the city.

    These are designed for remote

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    These are designed for remote places that cannot be emptied often, not for urban environments.
    Plus, who ever heard of a trash can that requires a service contract?
    It's a hustle.


    They're specifically designed for urban areas - they hold 2.5 times the trash as a regular barrel and let DPW know when they are full.

    I hope the people who snap photos of overflowing cans are also reporting the issue to the city (one slacking DPW employee can make a lot of trash cans remain overflowing)

    But both the common and the rest of the city still suffer form too few trash cans - that's part of the reason both big bellies and traditional cans end up overflowing. Then again bhe big bellies do prevent people form dumping their household trash into the public bins.

    The bigger volume they hold

    The bigger volume they hold means slower turnaround time for emptying and they get quite ripe over that extra time.

    Where are these "new" "gifts" coming from? The models we got up at Ronan Park three years ago were already pretty well used. I wonder if some more progressive city like Vancouver isnt unloading their junk once they realized these dont work well for urban parks.

    And as for notifying DPW automatically, I HIGHLY doubt that there is more than a red light indicator and the stench to inform anyone. Half my citizens connect items are about ours not being emptied.

    Downtown Crossing/Financial District

    Great idea but what everyone says is true, they need daily maintenance. The Downtown B.I.D. Ambassadors clean each and everyone of them in their district everyday. They are by far the cleanest and easiest to use in the City. Check it out for yourself next time you are down there. Theses people do a great job and have made a big difference in DTX!!!

    When full...

    Do these emit a signal? I mean, it can rely on a cell phone network or something really easy, right? Just a little sensor that will send a text (or email via text) that it is 90% full, and then another at 100%.

    Easy, no? How expensive, compared to whatever their existing cost already is, could that be?

    Will they feature

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    a Beacon Hill-appropriate font? Or will they stick with the Windows 98 Jokerman? Boston Shines 365!


    Is that just a joke or were they gifted by somebody to the City?