You Paid for It: Charleston introduces ‘Bigbelly’ trash cans

Updated: Aug. 22, 2019 at 7:50 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Charleston is excited to introduce new Bigbelly trash cans throughout downtown.

There are 120 new Big Bellies, including on Tradd Street, along the Waterfront and in front of the Coast Guard station.

You might walk or drive by without even noticing one at first. Bigbellies are – well - bigger than the old trash cans.

The city estimates we will go through 2,812 garbage bags a month instead of the current 17,863.

Bigbellies are also solar powered.

According to a video on, “A sensor measures capacity and a compactor presses it all down. This allows the unit to swallow up to eight times more than a standard street bin before it fills up. The unit then sends an email notification to say how full it is.”

Since waste is concealed, the company says these smart cans help keep litter from blowing around and better contain smells.

They city is leasing the Bigbelly units for 5 years for $172,000 a year.

Charleston’s Public Services department estimates saving $200,000 a year because crews will spend roughly 600 fewer hours per month emptying trash cans, letting them focus on other tasks like street cleaning.

City crews currently spend 729 hours every month emptying downtown waste baskets.

With bigbellies installed, it should take less than 150 hours.

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