Are the big garbage tins in your city constantly overflowing and always needing to be emptied? The big belly might be a product to look into. Do not let the name fool you. This is a trash container that can hold five times the normal amount of trash as a normal container. The big belly is solar powered and produced by Seahorse Power Company(bigbelly.com). The container compacts trash within the garbage and is self sustaining in its energy. It is run completely on solar power. It costs roughly $3600. There are advantages to investing in the big belly trash container. Although it costs quite a bit more than a conventional trash box; Seahorse Power claims that in busy locations it has a return on investment of about one and a half years. It runs on a very low wattage of energy and it produces all of its own by solar power. It can be used year round without any problem. The trash bin has panels on the side that can be used to advertise and can help offset some of the initial costs. It is very durable and if used out where there are large animals, a bear latch is available.
There are some drawbacks to purchasing the "Big Belly". Since it is a commercial item, more than one will probably be purchased. Depending upon ones budget, the initial and upfront costs might be more then one can afford to spend. The battery within the container will need to be replaced every three to five years which adds on cost.
Rubbermaid, Safco, AutoKan, Continental, and Witt all make sidewalk trash containers.
If you are a local government or large company that has some extra budgeted money than the Big Belly trash container could be a very good long term investment. If used in busy areas more money could be saved on trash collecting. The panels can be used to put advertising on for a company and therefore enhance the profitability of using the trash receptacle. The unit is completely solar powered and can enhance the publics view of your company or city. Overall it is a unique and possibly worthwhile investment.