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Glasgow City Council has replaced 21 Large Capacity 360L litter bins lining one of the city’s busiest pedestrian thoroughfares with only 12 Bigbelly solar compacting units.

Prior to a solar compacting bin trial in 2018, the council’s collection teams were emptying 25 160-litre traditional litterbins on the city’s popular Buchannan Street 438 times a week. To prevent overflowing bins and to ensure that the street was kept clean at all times, the area was constantly patrolled by collection operatives who often emptied bins that were not full.

During the 12-week Bigbelly trial, collections were reduced by 90 per cent with efficiency levels jumping to 96 per cent. Efficiency levels are based on council operatives emptying a Bigbelly unit only when full or nearly full, a process that is facilitated by sensor technology, which provides real-time status updates on the fill level of each unit. When they are ready to be emptied, they let the team know.

The council procured 12 Bigbelly units via an Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO) Framework in April. The move has already improved waste collection efficiencies of the street cleansing service within a busy city centre location.

John Hughes, Programme Manager at Glasgow City Council, comments: “Our goal is to make Glasgow as sustainable as possible, and to optimise the resources we have available to us. With the introduction of solar compacting bins this is helping us to achieve both. We receive real time fill levels alerts on the bins which enables us to make informed decisions around the collections.”

Emmett Reidy, Business Development Director for Egbert Taylor, Bigbelly’s UK distributor, adds: “Events such as the upcoming COP26 are reframing the way we think about resource and prompting organisations to think about how they can achieve more in tandem with creating less of a negative environmental impact. Bigbelly has become a mainstream vehicle to address the larger issues around sustainability at the same time as tackling issues around resource, which local authorities are increasingly faced with. It’s great to see councils such as Glasgow take a more sustainable approach to waste collection and make significant gains in the process.”

For more information on Bigbelly visit For more information on Glasgow City Council visit

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