Bigbelly, Inc., a smart city solutions provider that specializes in smart waste and recycling systems, has been awarded with a $5.7 million contract with the Illinois Public Higher Education Cooperative (IPHEC), which is the contracting vehicle for all 13 Illinois state universities. Under the contract, Bigbelly will provide access to up to 500 Bigbelly smart waste and recycling across any and all of the universities.
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is the first cooperative member to take advantage of the contract. UIC is expanding its existing base of 16 high-capacity compactors for waste and single stream recycling in eight locations on campus with an additional 100 components. Fifty spots in the high pedestrian traffic areas of the East and South ends of campus will house the new Bigbelly units. The new Bigbelly units will replace 189 of the campus’ existing open-top waste bins, allowing the campus’ bin footprint to reduce by 73 percent.
"Bigbelly allows us to assign our crews more efficiently because waste collection takes much less time,” said Carly Rizor, director for the UIC campus grounds department, in a statement. “We are able to divert employees to other much-needed assignments across campus and improve productivity."
Since adding Bigbelly compactors to its campus in 2015, UIC has seen significant metrics of success and benefits. And since installing the double units, UIC has managed to maintain a 52 percent recycling diversion rate and an 85 percent reduction rate for waste and recycling collections over the past 12 months. In addition, monthly collections have dropped from 28 to 1.5 collection per bind, and the facilities management grounds department now completes collected in one weekly cycle instead of the average seven times per week schedule maintained before the deployment of the Bigbelly units.
"We are very much invested in Bigbelly's success on the campuses of all the universities in the Illinois Public Higher Education Cooperative, and across the entire City of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs," said Brian Phillips, CEO of Bigbelly, in a statement. "Our smart city platform is unique and holds proven benefits among our many city and higher education customer."