HOW can you have a big belly and yet reduce the pounds? The answer is when the Big Belly is a brand of litter bin like the ones being installed at resorts along East Devon’s coastline.

East Devon District County has invested in a five-year lease for a total of 21 new Big Belly brand litter bins. These have a number of benefits – one being that they largely pay for themselves.

The costs of the lease agreement will be offset by savings on agency and staff overtime due to a significant reduction in the number of times the bins need to be emptied and by greater operational efficiency.

Solar powered

Among the benefits of the Big Belly bins are:

• They compact the litter inside so they can hold eight times as much waste as East Devon’s ageing stock of conventional wheelie-type bins .

• The compactor machinery is solar powered, so it needs no electricity supply .

• Because the Big Belly holds more waste, the seafront ends up less cluttered with waste containers.

• The bins have a closed access point, which stops gulls from pilfering contents like fish and chip wrappers and strewing them over the footpath .

• Big Belly bins don’t need emptying so often, so EDDC can re-invest staff time saved into other street cleansing work .

• The new bins can also carry static messaging panels. In time there will also be wi-fi hotspot access, so EDDC can communicate with residents and visitors about council services or resort attractions • Advertising revenue may also help in partially covering the cost of the bins, reducing council outlay still further.

Big Belly bins have now been installed or will appear soon in the following East Devon resorts: > Budleigh Salterton (7) > Exmouth (shortly trialling 4-6 loaned bins this year*) > Seaton (7) > Sidmouth (7) The new bins are being installed this summer following a successful trial last year in Sidmouth.

Councillor Iain Chubb, EDDC’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “This new type of bin is a very exciting departure for East Devon because they have so many benefits rolled into one deal. Not only do they reduce the amount of street furniture but they also limit scavenging by gulls and other pests.


Cutting Edge

“Cutting edge technology means that the bins use solar power to drive the compacting ram and there is also a chance for us to communicate with our customers through static or wi-fi advertising. In many cases the bins will start paying for themselves from Day One. In these austere times, the ability to improve the service without increasing our overall budget is a definite win-win”.

*Because Exmouth seafront is so long, the new bins cannot replace the old ones like-for-like, so EDDC will experiment with a few loaned Big Bellies this summer and assess the need in the light of experience. This will help the council to provide a more comprehensive and viable set of containers for Exmouth in 2015. Exmouth’s bins will be installed in time for the school summer holidays.