- Sutera USA, based in Greenville, SC, has created a waste bin that stores trash partially underground to keep it cooler, reduce odors, and use less space than regular containers.
- The bin stores waste vertically in a concrete well 5 feet below the surface and 39 inches above ground. A reusable PVC-coated polyester bag is suspended within the well. It takes a hook-lift garbage truck 3 minutes to lift the bag, dump its contents into the truck, and lower the bag back into the well.
- Sutera's Bill Higgins said the lid is watertight, and any "leachates created by the waste are contained in our monolithic concrete well, pumped out as required and disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner."
This type of container has great potential in the U.S. due to consumer benefits and efficiencies for haulers. And, after all, who doesn't want to reduce trash odors? If haulers can convert or buy trucks to empty the bins, and communities are willing to embrace new concepts, the bins could become popular.
Higgins said the first container in the U.S. was installed at Sutera’s parent company, Melloul Blamey Construction in Greenville, two years ago. "It was our prototype. In those two years no leachate or rainwater accumulated in the well," Higgins said.
The company started marketing the concept this year. "We are slowly and methodically blazing a trail in South Carolina. Once that trail is open there will be much traffic," Higgins said.