New ‘smart’ recycling litter bins for Sutton

Smart Bins

Published Monday, 5th July 2021

New ‘smart’ recycling litter bins have been installed in Sutton High Street and Central Road, Worcester Park, that will help residents and visitors to the borough recycle on-the-go.

The new solar-powered ‘BigBelly’ bins have been installed by Sutton Council and its environmental solutions provider, Veolia. 

Cans, plastic bottles, glass bottles, newspapers and magazines can all be placed in the green recycling bins. Everything else (including disposable coffee cups, plastic bags and food waste) must be placed in the black general waste bins.

The bins automatically crush down the recycling so they can stomach eight times more waste than a standard litter bin. They contain sensors that send automatic alerts to Veolia’s street cleansing teams when nearing full capacity, increasing the team’s efficiency and reducing vehicles on the road. The bins are also complete with a foot pedal option, enabling people to safely dispose of their rubbish hands-free. 

Councillor Manuel Abellan, Chair of the Environment and Sustainable Transport  Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“Working with our partner Veolia, we have made huge strides in improving the amount of waste we recycle from our homes across the borough in recent years. But recycling while we’re out and about remains a real challenge. 

“There are lots of recycling litter bins in high footfall areas across the borough. They are well-used and we would love to be able to recycle everything we collect from them, but sadly they often contain too much contamination; non-recyclable items like plastic bags, disposable coffee cups, dog waste and used nappies. These new BigBelly recycling litter bins have been designed to make it easier for people to know what they should and should not put in them. I hope it will improve the quality of the material we collect from these litter bins and enable us to recycle even more than we do now.”

Scott Edgell, SLWP General Manager, Veolia, said: 

“We’re constantly looking for innovative ways to manage waste better, and these solar-powered BigBelly smart bins can handle eight times more waste than standard litter bins. Not only are they hygienic and easy to use, the automatic alerts mean our teams can efficiently empty and collect the bins, allowing them to carry out other duties such as litter-picking, unblocking drains and removing graffiti.”

The introduction of BigBelly recycling litter bins in Sutton High Street and Worcester Park is part of the Council’s borough-wide trial of smart bins. The objectives are to:

  • Improve efficiency - using the resources available to us in a more focused and targeted way
  • Reduce the number of bins required - decluttering and improving the street scene
  • Drive down carbon emissions - by enabling street cleaning crews to know which bins needs to be emptied
  • Support recycling-on-the-go - encouraging residents to put the right thing in the right bin when they’re out and about

For details on the smart bins trials, visit www.sutton.gov.uk/smarterbins where residents can complete a short survey asking for their views.