You may have noticed a few more BigBelly garbage cans in the downtown core this week.

The addition of the 12 BigBellys were a budget item approved by the Finance and Administration Committee of City Council in June in an effort to improve the condition of cleanliness on downtown sidewalks. The Business Improvement District’s Clean Team made recommendations to Waste Management staff on where to locate the new receptacles based on patterns of litter the team cleans-up on a daily basis.

“Our hope is that no one should have to walk far to locate a garbage can in downtown Spokane,” says BID Clean and Safe Director, Mark Gelhaus. “While our team takes pride in keeping the sidewalks litter-free, the problem can be contributed to when there is no convenient place for citizens to dispose of trash.”

There are several advantages to the BigBelly’s design. A swinging “hopper” door securely contains waste, preventing litter from ending back out on the sidewalk, and a hands-free foot pedal reduces direct contact with the can itself. Solar powered smart technology compacts waste inside the can and notifies waste management when the can is full, reducing collections by 70-80 percent on average, and decreases liner usage, labor hours, vehicle wear, and fuel consumption

The City first began using the Big Bellies in 2018 when 40 units were installed throughout downtown. In total, 82 BigBelly units are in the downtown core, with another 26 located inside Riverfront Park.