Jupiter’s ‘Big Belly’ trash collection boxes practical and colorful


The bins in Jupiter notify Waste Management when they are full

Jupiter Lighthouse and other local attractions are painted on the boxes

Wondering about those colorful, chest-high waste collection boxes along Jupiter’s beach and parks?

Here’s the scoop:

Ten of the high-tech gadgets, painted with sunsets, wildlife and sports scenes, are being installed by Waste Management, which has done trash collection in Jupiter for 30 years. The first model in Jupiter was installed six years ago on the beach at Marcinski Road.

“The new models are more advanced,” said Jeff Sabin, government affairs manager for Waste Management.

The twin trash containers — one for landfill items, the other for recyclables — are solar powered. They automatically crunch the junk so they can hold five times as much trash beach-goers and park visitors feed them.

Nicknamed “Big Belly Stations,” the boxes flash a yellow light when half full and red when full. The boxes then transmit a signal to Waste Management to empty them.

“This is a high-tech solution to trash and recyclable collection,” said Mayor Todd Wodraska on Tuesday as town and Waste Management officials dedicated a unit at the beach at Marcinski Road and A1A.

The containers, which cost about $3,000 each, are paid for and maintained by Waste Management.

“We expect to install more in other parts of town,” Sabin said.

Waste Management collection crews normally empty the trash collection boxes along the beach three times a week. The self-crunching boxes only require emptying once a week.

“This will reduce our carbon footprint,” he added.

Appearance is just one reason for the containers. Full trash barrels often end up with empty food and beverage containers spilling out and scattered on the ground, said Wodraska.

“That draws insects, like bees. This is also a public safety issue,” he said.

The art depicted on the outside of the containersreveal local scenes in Jupiter.

At Lighthouse Park, the containers show — what else? — the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.

Scenes of two kayakers rowing in their yellow crafts out to the horizon is the scene at Jupiter Community Park. Skateboarders, basketball players and bicycle riders in action are on the containers at Jupiter Skate Park.

The compactors are located along the beach and at three of Jupiter’s largest parks:

• Along A1A at beach walkovers 25, 31, 45 and 53.

• Lighthouse Park, near the concession stand.

• Jupiter Community Park, at the bleachers by the baseball concession, at the softball concession, and at the soccer concession.

• Abacoa Community Park, at the Skate Park concession and at the football concession.

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