Bright Lights, Big Recycling City: New Times Square Bins
The Times Square Alliance recently announced that they’ve partnered with Mayor Bloomberg, BigBelly Solar, and the Alcoa Foundation to install 30 new solar compacting stations on 7th Avenue and Broadway, from 42nd to 47th Street. BigBelly Solar's compacting design allows the stations to hold five times more waste than traditional trash cans. And they're smart: Each station is equipped with sensors that alert remote personnel when they're full. Given that approximately 15,300 pounds of waste is generated by Times Square's 500,000 visitors every day, these bins could save the New York City Department of Sanitation a significant amount of money on collection costs and plastic bags.
Items that can be deposited in the stations are bottles and cans, paper, and trash. In addition to diverting trash from landfills, increasing recycling has many economic benefits, especially for aluminum, which can be recycled many times – and at a low cost. Recycling a used can into a new beverage-holder necessitates 95% less energy than crafting a new one. Global Green USA's Coalition for Resource Recovery has also worked since 2008 on increasing diversion of paper, and bins that separate paper from other recycling streams help to maintain the quality (and therefore value) of the paper stream.
This program is expected to help New York City to reach the ambitious goal set by the Mayor Bloomberg to double recycling efforts by 2017. More recycling bins will eventually be placed throughout Times Square, as well as throughout all five boroughs.