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Park Officials Cut Ribbon For New Smart Garbage Cans at LIC Waterfront

The official ribbon cutting at Hunters Point South Park took place Thursday morning (Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Aug. 6 2020 By Michael Dorgan 

Park officials cut the ribbon Thursday to mark the unveiling of several new smart garbage cans at Hunters Point South Park.

The event was held along the waterfront where one of four new “Bigbelly” garbage cans have been installed.

The four cans were added to the park last month and three additional bins are expected to be installed in the coming weeks.

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver attended the ribbon-cutting, joined by Queens Parks Commissioner Michael Dockett and members of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy.

Silver said that the new “Bigbelly” cans will help keep the park clean if park-goers use them.

He said they have a built-in sensor that notifies personnel when they are full, which prevents them from overflowing. Overflowing trash cans have been a major problem at the park and have been a magnet for rodents.

Silver said that an important feature of the “Bigbelly” cans is that they can be used without touching the handle.

“What we like about them [Bigbelly garbage cans] is they are hands-free,” Silver said. “At a time of COVID, you can just use your foot, it opens up and you can throw your trash away,” he said.

A green Bigbelly garbage can at the northwest of the Oval green (Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Rob Basch, president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, said that the trash cans can hold five times as much garbage as a standard trash can and use solar energy to compact the garbage.

He said that the cans have already made a big impact in keeping the park clean.

“They keep the garbage in and they keep the rats out,” Basch said.

Basch said that food waste inside the new garbage cans can’t be reached by rodents. The cans can only be opened by pushing down the foot lever.

Earlier this summer, there was a much bigger problem with trash and rodents since the regular garbage cans often overflowed. Many park-goers also dumped their trash on top of them or beside them.

Basch and Silver encouraged people to either use the new trash cans or take their trash home with them when they visit the park.

The seven cans cost $43,000 and were financed by the HPPC and a grant via the City Parks Foundation.

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“…the new “Bigbelly” cans will help keep the park clean if park-goers use them.” These are the key words, “if park -users use them”. Looking at what’s going on in Forest Park – clean and pleasant space not long time ago – I foresee garbage thrown anywhere but inside the smart cans. To borrow a phrase – “we live in the age of smart TVs, phones, (and smart garbage cans) but dumb people” “


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