Gull-proof ‘big belly’ bins on trial in Worcester

Ten new so-called “big belly” litter bins are being tried out on Worcester streets over the summer – designed to hold more litter and keep out scavenging gulls.

The trial of the solar powered bins is the latest move in an on-going campaign to control the number of gulls in the city. The birds are known to pull half-eaten food out of litter bins.

These new bins open using a handle or a foot pedal, and are self-closing once litter has been deposited – making it impossible for gulls to pull any waste out of them.

They can hold up to eight times more waste than standard bins. The sun's rays charge a 12-volt battery in each bin, which in turn powers a compacting system so that more waste can be held.

This means Council workers can spend less time emptying bins and more cleaning the streets. When the hi-tech bins do need emptying, they send out an alert message to Council staff.

The bins are being trialed at ten locations in Worcester’s city centre, that have high levels of foot traffic and the potential for overflowing bins.

“These new bins could be what we need to reduce the problem of scavenging gulls and stop the unsightly and unhygienic issue of little bins over-flowing,” says Cllr Joy Squires, Chair of the Environment Committee at Worcester City Council.

She added, “As a Council, we’re keen to look at new and innovative ways of delivering services more effectively and efficiently – and this could be a great way of making our streets even cleaner.”

The trial of the solar-powered “big belly” bins will run until Friday September 14.

Sarah Dawes