BigBelly Talking Trash
It’s an idea of ingenious simplicity. A trash can has limited capacity when you just toss the trash in. But if you crush the trash, the can holds much more. Great, but crushing garbage requires an electric motor (unless you use your foot). Where does the power come from?
Look up at the sun.
Crushing Trash With the Sun
Jim Poss started Seahorse Power Company to manufacture the BigBelly, a solar-powered trash compaction system. BigBelly can hold five times the trash of a container of similar size. Greater trash capacity in less space means that trash pick-ups happen less often, thereby saving fuel burned by the garbage trucks. The benefits to the environment are obvious, and there are economic benefits as well. Fuel costs money, and saving fuel saves money.
Boston Crushes Trash
The city of Boston, MA uses BigBelly cans. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said the following after a BigBelly trial period: “The solar trash receptacles have to go citywide. It will give us a more productive work force because you don’t have to pick them up every day.” An article in Business Week tells other BigBelly success stories.
Seahorse makes a “bear resistant” BigBelly for use in camping areas. Campers know about trash management in areas populated by bears and raccoons. A hungry raccoon will rip your trash apart and litter it across your campsite, unless you lock it up right!
No word on how the BigBelly deals with the added stench of the extra trash. Maybe there’s a solar solution there as well!
Talking Trash on an IT Blog?
So, why are we talking trash on an information technology blog? What does trash compaction have to do with IT?
One connection: If a city deploys a bunch of BigBelly systems throughout a park, and if each BigBelly has it’s own power source (solar), maybe the BigBelly could double as a WiFi access point or range extender. Seahorse sells the BigBelly for about $5,000 per unit, depending on model and volume. You can buy an access point for less than $50, so the added cost is negligible when you consider the WiFi benefits. No word on whether this is part of the Seahorse business plan. Hey Seahorse: Be sure to mention Wisdom when you add WiFi!
More Important Than WiFi
We’re all on this planet together. People who use computers generate tons of non-biodegradable trash. And we barely think about it. One example: When you upgraded to your current computer, what did you do with the computer? one? Where did it go after you tossed it in the dumpster? If you’re like Wisdom, you’ve owned dozens of computers over the years. Where did they go?
Everything we do to reduce waste helps us all. Hats off to Jim Poss and the team at Seahorse Power. They’re part of the solution.