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By Nicola Saltman on January 24, 2017 in Other

Photo: Leon Hayes

Photo: Leon Hayes

Let’s face it: litter is not the sexiest subject alive. Especially since it continues to haunt us on the sand and in our streets. Research in early 2016 has shown significant littering of takeaway food packaging at bus stops and other transport interchanges, as well as at the beach. It makes our neighborhoods ugly. It clogs our storm water drains. And it has zero appeal when it ends up on your face during a morning swim.

So what do sunshine and Wi-Fi have to do with helping to solve this major rubbish problem in Bondi?

In a bid to help tackle litter head-on over summer, Waverley Council is rolling out Australia’s largest fleet of solar-powered smart bins. It will be hard to miss these bright red and yellow babies at the beach and in Bondi Junction.

So what are smart bins exactly?
These Bigbelly solar bins use the power of the sun to squash the waste inside them, and Wi-Fi to let staff know when full to manage collection runs. That means fewer emissions from transport, less electricity, easy disposal, fewer overflowing bins, and less litter. Pretty cool, huh?

A bin is a bin though, right?
Not exactly. These solar bins contain an internal compactor that squashes the rubbish, so each bin can hold up to eight times the volume of common street litter bins or five times the volume of your average 120-litre wheelie bin. That means fewer bins needed and less overflow.

Solar panels power the compactor with emissions-free renewable energy, which helps on the low carbon front.

With real-time monitoring of bin capacity over Wi-Fi, staff can efficiently manage collection rounds. They are proven to reduce street bin collections by 80 per cent, which means lower pollution, less noise and better safety. Tick, tick, tick! Plus it also means savings on operational and labour costs.

Other cool features include air-fresheners that deodorise the bins and clear signage to help people do the right thing.

Where will I find them?

The 28 solar bins (waste and recycling) will be installed in 14 hot-spot locations along Campbell Parade, in Bondi Park, up at Bondi Junction, and at each foot ramp down to Bondi Beach.

This deployment is the largest for an Australian Council to date. It follows great examples in other notable smart cities worldwide, including Barcelona, Amsterdam and New York. Other national councils with solar bins include Parramatta, Melbourne and Canada Bay.

Building on the success of the plastic-bag free campaign in Bondi, Council will also be engaging with local businesses to help reduce takeaway packaging. And you will also see more butt bins at hot spot locations.

How can you help?

We’d love for you to continue your great work in binning rubbish and recycling, even if it’s not yours. Why not start off 2017 by making sustainability second nature in our local area, and keep Bondi beautiful?

For more information about Waverley’s solar-powered smart bins, visit or contact Tiffany Key at, or on 9083 8116.