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Jeff Humphrey

Mayor Fights Litter with 12 More Bigbellys

Jeff Humphrey, Media Manager, 509.625.6308

Friday, January 28, 2022 at 2:25 p.m.

While most of us are sleeping, Wade Ramm is out making his rounds, keeping downtown Spokane cleaner.

As it turns out, the night time is the right time to pick up garbage.

“I think that’s the nice thing. It’s safer for us and it’s safer for the public. And, I think by picking up the trash at night, both the commercial stops we do, and the Bigbellys, Spokane’s ready to go in the morning,” explained Ramm, one of the City of Spokane’s solid waste collectors.

Ramm’s job involves a lot of heavy lifting. That’s because Bigbellys have a built-in trash compactor and can hold up to eight times more garbage than traditional cans.

Solar power drives these somewhat smart dumpsters.

“It does two things for us. It compacts the garbage and then, it also sends a communication to us to let us to know when it needs to be collected. Each route driver has a tablet with them, and they can log into the Bigbelly app and they can see exactly where the Bigbellys are that are in need of service,” said Bob Kaatz, Refuse District Supervisor, for the city’s Solid Waste Department.

The app notifications help collectors save time and fuel and, there’s another reason why Mayor Nadine Woodward deployed another dozen Bigbellys downtown in November.

“So they are the ones that are solar powered, compressed and can’t be broken into,” Woodward said of the Bigbellys.

And, unlike traditional cans, Bigbelly’s are bolted to the ground and can’t be overturned.

A foot pedal, that opens the chute on the Bigbelly, makes tossing your litter a little more sanitary.

“Having it be a little more appealing receptacle, something that’s not overflowing. Something, that once you put something into it, it stays there. And, I think that’s good for Spokane,” Kaatz said of the Bigbelly’s merits.

There are now 64 Bigbellys in the downtown core. Another 33 in Riverfront Park. Together, almost a hundred ways to make it easy for us to do the right thing and help keep Spokane clean.

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