From a backwoods, off-grid cabin, to a series of municipal bus-shelters, solar energy often provides its largest payback when it negates the need to run costly new power lines to run certain electronics. The Massachusetts-based Seahorse Power Company has taken this principle and applied it to small rugged trash compactors for use in public areas. The company recently raised $1.1 million in angel and venture funding to meet manufacturing and sales demand for its "BigBelly" line of solar-powered trash compactors. Company PR follows.
The BigBelly, is an automatic, compacting trash bin powered by solar energy. The innovative BigBelly dramatically cuts emptying frequency and waste handling costs, trash overflow and litter at outdoor sites with high traffic and high trash volume. The BigBelly's target end-users, such as municipalities and outdoor entertainment venues, face massive volumes of daily trash, and very high collection costs. Since it is solar-powered, the BigBelly uniquely brings its benefits anywhere (electric wiring to most trash cans would be prohibitively expensive and impractical). The BigBelly has the potential to cut litter, reduce pests, and enhance patron experience while providing a return on investment through significantly lower waste handling costs.
We believe the primary benefits offered by the BigBelly compared to traditional waste handling processes include:
- Operational cost-reduction
- Litter reduction / improved patron experience
- Rodent / pest reduction
- Media / PR value
Queens, NY received 50 units since last spring; the units are located on busy sidewalks and parks across eight of the Borough's business improvement districts.
"It's educational, it's environmental, and it helps the district look better. It's a very attractive piece of furniture," said Mabel Law, Director of the Flushing, NY Business Improvement District."
Other Seahorse customers include municipalities, parks departments, universities and the U.S. Forest Service.
"The market for solar compactors is very large," said James Poss, CEO and founder of Seahorse Power Company. "The benefits of reducing trash and recyclables collection costs are compelling - especially in busy and remote locations. There are thousands of great sites in parks, business districts and beachfront areas for the BigBelly. Waste management and facilities professionals understand the value immediately."