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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Echo Park gets ready to fill the Big Belly

Photo courtesy Big Belly Solar

For more about five years now,  Echo Park activist Ida Talalla has been touting the benefits of the Big Belly, a solar-powered trash can and compactor.  The Big Belly can consume five times as much trash as a conventional can because it compacts trash as the container fills up.  That could help reduce the sight of overflowing trash cans and litter on the streets, Talalla has said before neighborhood council meetings and in one-on-one conversations. Next Wednesday,  a Big Belly will finally be installed at the northeast corner of Echo Park and Sunset Boulevard after Talalla  raised funds to buy and arranged to empty out the solar-powered can, according to Echo Park Patch. The Patch story said:

Talalla also hopes the can will remind residents that overflow trash often ends up in storm drains that empty in places like the Echo Park Lake.

A Big Belly does not come cheap, some units cost about $4,000. But its bigger capacity means city crews will spend less time emptying the Big Belly compared to a  typical trash can.   The only question now is will the Big Belly be big enough for all that Echo Park trash?



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  1. Don’t know who Ida Talalla is but I have to applaud her spending so much time and energy to try this out (even if it doesn’t work in the end it’s great to try!). Nice job. Thanks Ida.

  2. This is great news! Thanks, Ida!

  3. Very impressed. This is great. We need one on the SW corner of that same intersection as well. There is ALWAYS trash on that corner.

  4. I hope it’s graffiti proof……

  5. congratulations, Ida. I know this is the product of tireless work on your part!

  6. Will this be graffiti proof and thief proof as well? Knowing me, I love hi tech gadget and having one at EP is something I would swap it up in mid morning lol

  7. How do you make something “graffiti proof”?

  8. Oh… and congrats Ida. Great work!

  9. still waiting for the post that says something along the lines of….

    NO !!! this fancy gentrified trashcan is taking away from the echo park vintage over flowing trashcan image that the locals have grown to love.

  10. This trash can needs to move back to Iowa or Marina Del Ray or wherever it is it’s from.

  11. Install lasers that immediately sever the hands of any spray paint/sharpie wielding perpetrator!

  12. This is such a good thing for Echo Park! I have seen these
    solar-powered “Big Belly” trash cans in other cities like, Boston,
    Philadelphia, and even Knoxville! This will go a long way in helping
    to keep Echo Park clean.
    Thanks go out to TAP and Ida Talalla for making this happen.

  13. Put one on the corner of Baxter and EP blvd. We’ve got some “trash” there that needs removal.

  14. The handles on these trash cans get really disgusting and people end up littering rather than touch the handle whether you want to accept it or not. Sorry folks, but this product had poor experiential design!

  15. Buttplugger and TK…your comments are getting old.

  16. Echo Park TAP extends an invitation to the Echo Park community and other neighborhoods to the ribbon cutting event of BigBelly Solar.

    Date: September 14,2011
    Time: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM with ribbon cutting
    Place: NE corner of Sunset and Echo Park Avenue.
    Parking: Municipal Parking Lot just south of Sunset and Echo Park Avenue.
    Less than a quarter block from event side.
    Note: Dress for weather. Bring hat. Use sunscreen. Site is exposed to full sun.

    This BigBelly Solar has been tested in major urban settings, used in countless
    cities, park and forest service agencies, academic institutions and businesses.
    Given that Echo Lake is getting an 85 million dollar rehabilitation to address
    neglect and the impact of pollution mainly as a result of materials conveyed
    by area storm drains, every effort must be made by this community to prevent
    this reoccurring in the not too distant future. Echo Park TAP feels that this
    project has been sufficiently tested elsewhere as well as received strong support from within and outside the community to be effective in the effort to
    stop trash from entering area storm drains. Perhaps, the ultimate solution is
    if everybody here stopped carelessly discarding their cigarette butts, fast food
    plastic clamshells, paper wrappers, advertisement flyers etc on parkways, pavements, streets etc. And yes, the pull down handle of BigBelly Solar might
    get grubby but we have been fortunate to have Shelter Clean volunteer for a year to remove the trash and service the two units with cleaning materials and
    biodegradable trash liners. Litter is not simply only a visual blight but a polluter with far reaching consequences, often not seen in the immediate vicinity. Inland trash ends up on beaches and the ocean. BigBelly Solar is here
    to assist us meet the challenges. Echo Park TAP will keep the community appraised of its efforts to reduce the impact of trash in the community and the
    newly replanted Lotus bed. Please come to the installation and learn about
    programs the City has in place as well as volunteer for future projects. Echo Park TAP is indebted to the City’s Office of Community Beautification and Keep Los Angeles Beautiful for grants to secure BigBelly Solar with attached recycling units and to the many others who have provided invaluable assistance,including CD 13.

  17. Atta girl Ida!!!!!!

  18. Great news and thank you to Ida! On Alvarado, just north of Sunset on the block with Downbeat Cafe, EPFC, Machine Project, Fretted Frog, and Lemon Frog Shop, there used to be 2 trash cans. I do not know why but they were both removed about a month ago. The cig butts, trash, coffee cups, etc have been thrown onto the curb and street as there is no place anymore to put it. It looks worse than ever. People really did use those trash cans and they were always spilling over. Did they go away because we are getting one there as well? Why else would the city take away 2 trash cans outside of a coffee shop, leaving no place to throw trash??

  19. Echo Park and Effie Resident

    I think that this is a wonderful idea. These trash bins should be placed all over the city. I love the idea that it’s solar powered. It probably will be tagged all over, but I’m okay with that. As long as it helps reduced the physical trash the flys around our streets. With that being said, I hope this trash machine helps remind people not to litter. Thanks Ida, you’re efforts are appreciated.

  20. Let’s get more!!!

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