New trash solution installed on Main Street and in Onset

By Lydia Goerner | Aug 02, 2017
Photo by: Matthew Bernat The first Bigbelly solar trash compactor was installed next to the clock tower on Main Street.

Main Street and Onset are freshly furnished with brand-new trash and recycling units in an effort to provide a cost-effective, sustainable way to keep the town clean.

The Bigbelly trash compactors are 150 gallons, said Town Administrator Derek Sullivan. The solar-powered units compact trash and send an alert when the trash cans are full, which saves time and money since Municipal Maintenance won’t have to check them as frequently. They also keep animals out of the trash.

The trash compactors also have a recycling unit on them to encourage proper disposal of waste. They have panels on the sides which can be used for advertising businesses or community events.

There will be five Bigbelly trash compactors installed on Main Street this week and four in Onset. Each unit costs $6,350.

“This one-time funding overall will keep our operational costs down,” Sullivan said. “We can actually do this because now we won’t be sending people off to check trash cans all the time.” According to Bigbelly's website, collection crews reduce trash collection by 70 to 80 percent on average with Bigbelly.

A benefit of the trash compactors is that they can reduce carbon footprint and CO2 emissisions with fewer truck rolls, less fuel consumption and air pollution, Bigbelly's website says.

The compactors on Main Street are funded through the Community Development Block Grant Program. The ones in Onset are paid for through the parking program, A.D. Makepeace Company and Gatra.

Sullivan said most of the trash compactors are being placed near businesses to help with trash in those areas.

“There’s been a lot of effort toward trash recently,” Sullivan said. He said since the funding for the new compactors was available, it was a good time to start making the change in town.

A man checks out one of the five new trash compactors on Main Street. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
The trash and recycling units are being installed this week and most are already in place. (Courtesy of: Wareham Department of Natural Resources)
Comments (13)
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Aug 02, 2017 12:12

Will they work on the beaches?  They are really cool and trendy green but it seems a little odd to have space aged trash barrels, each worth more than my car in one place, and no barrels at all in another.  Am I the only one that sees it like that?

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Aug 02, 2017 13:04

Five in downtown Wareham and only 4 in Onset? Seems to me they all should be in Onset, nobody goes downtown Wareham anymore since the bump outs. Most everyone downtown is a vagrant or out of towners stealing Warehams bluecrabs.

Posted by: Don't Trash Wareham | Aug 02, 2017 13:33

Don't Trash Wareham is thrilled to see the Big Bellies going up around town. People have been complaining regularly about no barrels. Well, the Town heard you and when a revenue source became available the barrels were acquired and have been placed. Why would anyone need to make this negative? Those of us who pick up the trash on a regular basis have just had our lives made easier, the town made cleaner, our environment a bit more protected. Sounds like a win-win-win to us!

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Aug 02, 2017 15:19

I wasn't making it negative.  I think that the Big Bellies are great.  My comment is based on the fact that the Big Bellies are replacing conventional trash barrels in Onset Center and Wareham Center.  Meaning that people already had a way to toss out trash in those locations.  Yet there are no barrels at all at the beaches.  No trash barrels is very inconvenient and many slobs just leave their trash in the sand.


Here's a positive idea.  Relocate the 9 conventional barrels replaced by the Big Bellies to the beaches.  That's a real win-win.  Then upgrade those to Big Bellies once some more funding comes along.  Makes perfect sense.

Posted by: Mike | Aug 03, 2017 05:43

How do they handle rot and buds in the heat if not emptied regularly

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Aug 03, 2017 11:27

Wareham by the Sea - Are you sure you live in Wareham? The town of Wareham removed municipal trash barrels from downtown Wareham and Onset a few years ago, much to the ire of a lot of residents. The new thrash receptacles are not "replacing nine barrels." They are placing modern trash receptacles in areas which years ago held trash barrels, the frequent emptying of which was, according to the town administrator, a costly financial (man-hour) burden on a strained municipal budget.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Aug 03, 2017 13:18

Yea, I live here.  I recall the barrels downtown & in Onset being there more recently.  I don't think they've been gone for a few years but maybe they have.


In any event my point is more towards the beaches being without any barrels. In Downtown & Onset a person may have a coffee cup or a wrapper that they can take away with them.  The beaches have a much higher volume in the summer due to lunches, drinks, diapers, broken beach stuff (all the things that I see piled up in the sand in the evening).


Maybe they could have allocated some of the new Big Bellies for the beaches?  Maybe just a couple at one of the major beaches up until Labor Day.  Then increase them as funding comes available.  Spread the wealth a little.  That's all I'm saying...

Posted by: Phredzzz | Aug 04, 2017 09:42

What's with the Ugly non Hi-Tech wooden Pallets under these socalled Hi-Tech Trash Gadgets? not very eye-appealing!

Posted by: Phredzzz | Aug 04, 2017 10:41

When these electronically controlled Trashcan/compactors break down,  how much per hour will it cost to repair these Hi-Tech $6350  Trashcans? I am thinking that the cost of  one Repair could buy several Triditional Trash Bins for the Beaches. Just an observation. I could eassily be mistaken.

Posted by: Phredzzz | Aug 04, 2017 11:04

Spellcheck error above, ( Traditional ). As I mentioned, modern technology does occasionally fail and/or break-down.

Posted by: | Aug 04, 2017 11:12

I don't buy into 'green' tech too much, I usually think of the color of money when it comes to the real 'green' behind some of this tech but this is a good idea. I like to see clean streets for sure. Maybe this is a small step with revitalizing the center. Is there a maintenance plan? It does sound expensive and that usually means expensive to fix.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Aug 21, 2017 10:33

This is on Facebook today. The comments there are multi-sided. Some say shame on the town for not emptying them. Some say shame on the people for overfilling them. Some say that they were empty and people just didn't insert the trash correctly. Those pull-down hoppers are prone to jamming.  Just like the clothing donation boxes. Some say that people shouldn't be eating pizza  Some blame it on Marc Anthony and say that they should offer a return on the boxes...double lol! I say that this wouldn't be an issue with a conventional trash barrel. Why complicate something so simple?



Posted by: cranky pants | Aug 21, 2017 12:45

That's looking like sloppy met lazy for lunch and they had a date.

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