The Parque Metropolitano is an urban oasis amidst the bustling Santiago, Chile. This parkland is the largest park in South America and fourth largest in the world with its peak situated 850 meters above sea level. The millions of annual visitors enjoy spacious green landscape while enjoying the park’s many attractions including open air pools, cable car, national zoo, botanical gardens, and a religious sanctuary featuring the country’s most iconic symbol. This sky-high destination attracts visitors to ride the funicular cable railway up take in a panoramic view of the Chilean city below.
The high volume of park-goers always brings equal volumes of trash. The Department of Operations for the Park battled with traditional bins that filled more quickly than they could be emptied and that attracted unwavering wasps that swarmed open litter bins in these popular areas. The Park has adopted Bigbelly's smart waste system in and around the summit's Bellavista Terrace to hold more waste, reduce collections, and leverage CLEAN reporting for volume and location trends to create smarter operations. Most importantly, the enclosed Bigbelly bins have deterred wasps from swarming and have removed the public health risk that long plagued this global destination.
CHALLENGES & MOTIVATIONS
The volume of pedestrian waste in the Parque Metropolitan's summit "Bellavista Terrace" - a peak tourist destination within this grand urban park - generated a serious problem for the Department of Operations. To keep the area clean, staff spent several hours collecting waste from the traditional trash bins that frequently filled then transferring the waste to larger containers located outside the busy areas.
The abundant flora in the park invites a variety of buzzing insects. These insects, most notably wasps, also swarm the garbage bins. The Department of Operations's work load was further burdened with washing bins to deter the wasps and emptying the bins even more frequently. They did not want to put visitors who may have allergic reaction to these wasps at risk in the most popular areas.
The traditional cans in the "Terraza Bellavista" area were collected 20 times per week on average. Two important variables impact collection routine: Time of year and days of the week, with the summer season being the most demanding.
A Smarter SOLUTION
The pilot implementation began with seven Bigbelly solar-powered compacting bins in the "Terraza Bellavista" area to hold more waste volume and subsequently reduce the average collection per container.
The Bigbelly CLEAN software streamlines operations and helps crews measure the efficiency of their collection routine. CLEAN tracks usage, assesses metrics, and sends automatic notifications when bins are ready for collection. Real-time monitoring allows crews to collect the bins more efficiently, avoiding overflows and messes. Bigbelly’s Distribution Partner in Chile, GreenCargo, worked hand-in-hand with the Parque Metropolitan Department of Cleanliness to achieve the best possible results. They leveraged CLEAN’s robust reports, customized notifications for when bins needed to be emptied, and completed hands-on training and support.
Despite being located 850 meters above sea level, the pilot stations’ connectivity and signal for data transmission between the cloud-based CLEAN system remained uninterrupted at all times. Currently Metropolitan Park has 15 Bigbelly smart waste compacting units, becoming the first country in Latin America to successfully implement this type of world-class technology.
During the first year, the Parque Metropolitan's Department of Operations was able to reduce their collection average during the high season from 20 times to 3.4 times per week with Bigbelly. Crews used the smart software and notifications to achieve more efficient and streamlined collections. They reduced the frequency of pick-ups, the number of trips by the garbage trucks, and thus their overall carbon footprint.
Parque Metropolitan made 1,220 collections during the first year - an 83% reduction from their traditional bin operations. Over half of the collections were made when the bins were full, meaning that there is still room for even further improvement by optimizing use of the Bigbelly system. By using CLEAN’s data, the Park now has well-informed projections and trends to calculate the volume of waste generated in public bins, which days of the week generate more or less volumes, and which specific locations generate the most amount of waste.
Notably impacting the overall environment, the enclosed Bigbelly bins have removed the Park’s insect plague by deterring wasps from swarming. Removing open-top bins and keeping waste contained has made a meaningful difference in the area experience. This has significantly reduced the workload for the department as they no longer needing to wash every bin or collect more frequently than required. The adoption of Bigbelly has meaningfully reduced the public health risk associated with aggressive wasps in “Terraza Bellavista” for good!
The Metropolitan Park of Santiago is located in the heart of the capital city of Chile. Sized at over 730 hectares, the MPS is the largest urban park in Latin America and fourth largest worldwide, with a summit elevated to more than 850 meters above sea level. Being the main tourist destination of Santiago, thousands of people visit it daily generating more waste than could be kept up with by the Park's Department of Operations.