The city of Spokane is doing recycling and solid waste differently than it ever has before.
About 70 Bigbelly smart waste bins were installed downtown and the bins are saving the Downtown Spokane Partnership valuable money and time, according to city officials.
The new bins have a solar-powered compactor which means the bins can hold up to five times as much trash as an average bin. Some also have a recycling component, something that was hard to come by downtown in the past.
Once waste bins get too full, sensors inside the bins will send a signal to the city's solid waste collections crews so they can be emptied.
"We want to make them, those visitors from our community, whether they be local or from someplace else, to feel welcome and to feel like they are entering an environment which is well taken care of," said Marlene Feist, city of Spokane. "You streamline the street-scape, it keeps things cleaner, and it adds what people want which is recycling, the ability to be more environmentally conscious," she said.
In the past it was the Downtown Spokane Partnership's responsibility to empty the bins downtown, now the city will take over, allowing the partnership to work on other concerns like graffiti and cleaner sidewalks.
Feist said crews will track the amount of garbage in different areas downtown to see if placement of these bins needs to be adjusted.
City officials said the plan is to eventually place the bins in Riverfront Park as well.