Redland City Council has installed 10 smart solar compacting bins at Wellington Point Recreation Reserve as part of a three-year pilot project.
Mayor Karen Williams said the project aimed to reduce the number of litter bin collections, costs and environmental impacts.
“Wellington Point Recreation Reserve has been chosen for this pilot project as it has significantly more bins and litter collections than other Redlands Coast parks,” she said.
“The reserve has about five times the number of litter collections of comparable destination parks, which represents about 13 per cent of the total public litter bin collections across Redlands Coast.
“As part of the pilot project, all bins in the reserve have been removed and replaced with ten 240-litre smart solar compacting bins, which can compact up to eight times the standard bin volume.
“Council will be able to collect valuable data on bin usage and fullness, allowing us to reduce collections from more than 160 to 20 each week and leading to an approximate annual saving of about $28,000.
“Ongoing monitoring and analysis during the pilot will allow us to consider further savings and possible implementation in comparable civic and open spaces.
“Reduced collection requirements may particularly benefit key island locations such as Point Lookout on North Stradbroke (Minjerribah) and on Coochiemudlo Island.”
Cr Williams said the bins would also include poster panels so Council could provide education around better waste and recycling habits.
“Redlands Coast residents care about our wildlife and our natural environment and we want to help them reduce waste and keep our parks and oceans free from rubbish.
“The majority of the waste going in Council bins is excess packaging from takeaway food and Council would like to work with businesses to reduce this.”
Division 1 Councillor Wendy Boglary said the solar compacting bins provided an exciting opportunity to reduce visual impacts and improve general amenity at the reserve.
“Due to their increased capacity and ability to issue fullness alerts, these bins should significantly reduce any issues of overflowing bins within the reserve,” Cr Boglary said.
“The project also means the litter bin footprint is reduced by 67 per cent, improving the visual amenity of the reserve.
“This means there will be more open space for residents and visitors to enjoy in this popular naturally wonderful park.”
Cr Williams said the pilot project followed the trial of a smart compacting bin in Bloomfield Street Park, Cleveland in 2019.
“The Cleveland trial saw a reduction in the number of weekly collections from five to two,” she said.
“Council decided not to roll this bin model out further, mainly due to its smaller capacity. This initial compacting bin is planned to be relocated to Cleveland Point Recreation Reserve.”
The $95,000 pilot project has been funded through Council’s Transformation Portfolio Fund, and is expected to be recouped in about three years.