Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Named Most Efficient Global Municipality with Bigbelly Smart Waste System


Collection Reduction

69 Tons

Annual CO2 Savings


Annual Cost Savings


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A destination port town in close proximity to Dublin city center, Dún Laoghaire regularly encounters large volumes of people and public space waste. Keeping up with the waste created by residents, businesses and, and influx of tourists served difficult for the port community as their litter bins filled more frequently than they could be collected – leading to overflows and streetscape litter.

Coupled with Ireland’s unpredictable weather, it was an impossible task to know when bins required emptying. Dún Laoghaire Council deployed Bigbelly as an innovative approach to do more with fewer resources. Since installation, the council has improved the efficiency of its public waste collection service by 85%, reduced related operational costs by 75%, and ensures overall cleaner streets and public spaces.



"Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is delighted to accept the inaugural award [Most Efficient Global Municipality...].It showcases the County Council's strong commitment to reduce its environmental footprint and drive tangible efficiencies in our day-to-day work process through the medium of smart, analytic driven technology. I am delighted to say that our County is at the forefront of data-driven municipal operations."

- Cllr Cormac Devlin, Cathaoirleach (Mayor) of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council





Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council faced the common challenges of reduced resources for waste operations and inadequate capacity of existing bins. These limitations, coupled with the nature of traditional open top bins, resulted in frequent overflows and spillage and increasingly littered community. The Council’s interest was piqued by an innovative project proposal for a smarter way to manage waste.



The Council extensively trialed the Bigbelly system, then moved from a small pilot to a full-scale implementation in 2014. Over 420 smart stations were installed to replace all 530 traditional litter bins. The Bigbelly units were installed in similar locations to the existing bins and the total bin footprint was reduced by removing redundancies – bins in close proximity to each other. The Council was also able to extend waste collection to include entrances to large and mid-sized parks.

Smart collection notifications transformed the day-to-day operations for the Council by only picking up when bins were ready to be collected. The project, managed by the County Council by the Environment Department, was on a mission to improve the efficiency of waste management across the community.


Meaningful RESULTS

The Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown community embraced this transformative smart solution and redefined their public space waste operation. Despite a reduced bin footprint, total capacity increased by 450% from 45,000 to 250,000 liters. This new capacity plus Bigbelly’s enclosed design nearly eliminated overflowing bins and significantly decreased hours required for waste collection as well as street sweeping and litter clean up. 

Required collections reduced from an average of 6.5x to 1.6x per week thanks to Bigbelly’s unique compaction technology and centralized software. Each morning, a collection list is printed of bins that need to be emptied. This enabled the council to reduce the number of trucks used daily from 4 to 1, save 75% on fleet operating costs, and to redeploy 60% of collection staff to other services within the Council. 

Dedicated to not collecting bins before ready, DLRCC uses the Bigbelly system in most optimized way, leading to their title of Most Efficient Global Municipality. This change related to refuse vehicle operations saves the Council the equivalent of 69 tons of CO2 in greenhouse gas emissions annually, plus reduction of non-renewable resources as well as local air and noise pollution in their environment.



Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Logo


Situated 12km (8 miles) outside of Dublin City, the coastal suburb of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County is a thriving cultural hub. With a population of about 220k, it has an extensive range of attractions and activities for residents and visitors - from its coast waters to neighboring mountains. It boosts a thriving corporate and commercial business area including many shops, restaurants, cafés and pubs.

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