Throwing away trash in Quincy Center just got a bit more technical with the implementation of solar-powered compacting trash cans.
Stop & Shop Corporations gave the city $50,000, which purchased 10 trash compactors to go in Quincy Center
“It makes sense to Stop & Shop,” said Joe Kelley, president of Stop & Shop’s New England Division. “We’re committed to being a better neighbor and a sustainable company.”
The “Big Belly” barrels not only use solar power to compact trash, making barrels able to carry more trash at a time, but also send a signal to the Department of Public Works, alerting it when the trash can is full.
The result is less trips to pick up half-full barrels.
“[This will] create efficiencies with littering and cleaning up cities,” said Mayor Thomas Koch. “This allows us to stretch the [city’s] resources much further.”
The cans can hold five times the amount of a regular garbage can, and will be placed in the plaza in front of Stop & Shop Headquarters on Hancock Street and along one side of Hancock Street for several blocks.
According to DPW Commissioner Daniel Raymondi, the city approached Stop & Shop about partnering in the initiative, which will help replace some of the 130 barrels throughout the city.
“It’s a major initiative and a significant investment by Stop & Shop,” Raymondi said. “These things are $5,000 apiece, so they contributed $50,000 for the purpose … you don’t find many opportunities where you have a corporate sponsor and the city joining together.”
The city will be responsible for the maintenance of the machines, which will include battery replacement over time.
Even then, maintenance is expected to be minimal, Raymondi said, and the bins should last several years.
According to Koch, the plan is to start bringing in these types of barrels to other parts of the city.
“We have a new budget in July 1, we’re saving significant money in disposal fees. We will have room in budget to designate to more of these in the city,” Koch said.
As for why the first barrels went to Quincy Center, Koch said it not only had to do with the redevelopment, but that it is the home for Stop & Shop.
Additionally, “I think it makes sense to do it in the heart of our city, in the heart of the downtown,” Koch said.