Big Belly smart solar bins would save council €60,000

By Aimee Walsh

THE proposal to replace town and village centre bins across Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathfarnham with smart solar bins could save the council an estimated €60,000 per year.

In a report from the council to the SPC in September, the council said that the estimated savings would come from the cutting of staff wages, provision of vehicle fuel, PPE and materials.

Big Belly Solar Bins 25 1

The Big Belly smart solar bins would save €60,000 according to the council

The solar powered litter bins would be serviced by village maintenance crews instead of side loader operatives, reducing the side loader routes from five to four. South County Dublin currently service 672 litter bins across the county, operating five litter bin and side loader routes.

According to South Dublin County Council, the trial of the big belly solar bins in Rathfarnham Village showed that on average the servicing of litter bins can be reduced by as much as 85 per cent.

The council have said that there is a potential source of income from using the side panels of the solar bins as advertising platforms. Kyron Street Furniture, the supplier of the solar bins, would control the advertising contracts with 80% of the income going to them and 20% to the council. Kyron estimate an income of €300 per month from advertising on the bins. This would see an estimated income of over €50,000 per year for the 70 proposed bins.

As reported in last week’s edition of The Echo, it would cost approximately €420,000 for the roll-out of 70 solar powered bins, with each unit costing €6,000.

Councillor Francis Timmons for Dublin Mid-West, who is on the Environment Strategic Policy Committee, raised some issues surrounding the proposal to roll-out the solar bins.

Cllr Timmons said: “They seem like a very good idea on the grand scale of things, but I am worried about the cost of repair. It is a colossal amount of money at the minute. It is a good idea but the price at the minute in my view it is something we need to leave further down the road.

“They are so expensive, and they can be damaged. To spend all that money on a bin and then it was set on fire or badly damaged and had to be replaced. They are the type of things we need to think about.

“In the report, the council said that it is expected that a number of the 88 bins in towns and villages would not need to be replaced, where two or more bins have been provided in close proximity to each other. The 88 current standard litter bins would be replaced with 70 solar powered bins.

“One thing I asked for at the SPC is that we would liaise with Tidy Towns groups because a number of bins would be removed, so they would be taking away a lot of bins.

“They wouldn’t be additional bins they would be taking away a lot of bins around the county and I said I wouldn’t be happy with that because Tidy Towns are the ones that come out every weekend and tidy up the litter, could you imagine if tidy towns came out and there were no bins.” Cllr Timmons added.

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