Trash compactor

Eating its way to the forefront of the green movement, the BigBelly trash bin is the world’s first and only on-site solar-powered trash compactor.

BigBelly is used in busy places around the world like shopping districts, food courts, and entertainment venues, or in remote places such as parks and beaches.

Standing at 127cm tall and weighing 136kg, BigBelly uses only the sun’s energy to compact and store five times the amount of garbage as receptacles of the same size.

The machine uses up to 567kg of force to compact trash periodically until it is full. Municipalities and city parks that formerly emptied rubbish cans twice a day can now empty BigBelly once a week, reducing fuel costs and carbon emissions from rubbish truck trips.

The unit, which stores energy even on cloudy days, can operate for a full day with the equivalent energy it requires to toast a slice of bread. It can operate for eight years on the equivalent energy it takes to drive a garbage truck one mile.

Based in Needham, Massachusetts, the BigBelly Solar company standardised on SolidWorks software to design the unit and optimise the design.

‘Escalating steel prices forced us to rethink our approach to early development models,’ said Jeff Satwicz , BigBelly Solar product manager. ‘SolidWorks’ sheet metal features along with simple load analyses in COSMOSXpress enabled us to re-design the machine with 30 per cent fewer steel parts.’

Most of BigBelly Solar’s suppliers use SolidWorks, and they share design concepts with eDrawings e-mail-enabled design communication tool. eDrawings lets users send and receive 3D models or 2D drawings of product designs that recipients can view, rotate, and study as if they had a physical prototype in front of them.

BigBelly Solar recently unveiled recycling units that connect to BigBelly or can stand alone. Designed in SolidWorks, the BigBelly Recycling Unit looks similar to the BigBelly, but offers an insertion hole for cans and bottles, mixed paper or both.