Picture of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Tony Hanson (left) with Steven Parker (centre) of Egbert Taylor and Hartlepool’s cleansing unit team leader Garry Jones

Hartlepool chooses Bigbelly to slam the door on nuisance seagulls

Published:  29 May, 2018

Hartlepool is aiming to kill two birds with one stone by replacing open bins with 15 Bigbelly smart stations in a bid to tackle nuisance seagulls while improving bin emptying efficiency.

The borough council made the decision after a four-week trial in which 13 traditional bins were replaced with five Bigbelly units. The trial reduced unnecessary bin emptying by 87 per cent and also kept seagulls at bay.

For years, the birds have lingered around exposed seafront bins in the Seaton Carew seafront area, waiting for passers-by to discard their fish and chip wrappers. But the Bigbelly unit shuts off that source of food by automatically closing its aperture once waste has been deposited.

Tony Hanson, Hartlepool Borough Council’s assistant director, environment and neighbourhood services, said: ‘We wanted to find a solution that would allow us to lock out the birds and support the council in its objectives to deploy frontline resources as efficiently as possible.

‘With the enclosed compacting bins, there’s no more mess as a result of birds throwing litter around as they can’t access the waste, and our collection teams are only emptying when the units remotely feedback they are reaching capacity.

‘Through the trial this technology has clearly demonstrated its potential to support service enhancements in the future. It reduces the likelihood of street litter coming from bins and helps support necessary efficiency improvements so that frontline resources can be better targeted where our communities require them.’

Bigbelly remotely provides constant visibility of each unit’s status via a management console, which displays how much waste is sitting in each unit at any given time through sensor and compaction technology.

This system also enables council workers to set the capacity level at which each Bigbelly unit sends an alert to collection teams asking to be emptied.

During the busy Easter weekend the council set each unit’s fill level capacity to 60 per cent. This provided longer lead times for collection teams to get from one end of the borough to the units after receiving an alert in order to empty them before they became too full.

Similarly, the waste collection team has increased capacity to 80 per cent and over during periods of bad weather when footfall and waste levels are low. This has extended the periods between collections and reduced the amount of time wasted emptying bins that did not require emptying.

Steven Parker, area sales manager for Egbert Taylor, the company responsible for Bigbelly in the UK, said: ‘Hartlepool Borough Council highlights the multifaceted, and sometimes nuanced, benefits associated with Bigbelly.

‘However, perhaps the most important aspect is that its collection crew, which has reduced in size over recent years as a result of budget cuts, can be more responsive and make the council’s resource go further.

‘Through Bigbelly the council is achieving huge efficiency gains and we are delighted to have helped them in this process.

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