Chestnut Hill to get 15 “ugly” trash cans

Just how ugly are the Big Belly solar trash compactors? Well, at a community meeting last night in Northwest Philadelphia the word “ugly” kept coming up as residents debated whether to accept 15 of them in Chestnut Hill.

Despite their appearance the Chestnut Hill Community Association was unanimous in favor of accepting 15 Big Belly’s to Germantown Ave. The next step is for CHCA to set up a committee that will recommend where the 15 Big Belly’s should be installed.


How the “ugly” trash can became cool

Harriet Brumberg chairs the CHCA’s Land Use Planning & Zoning committee. She shared what some of the earlier concerns were. “They are ugly…(there were also) concerns about ruining the historic character. We heard about health concerns about touching the handles. We were skeptical,” she recounted to the board last night.

After researching the issue, Brumberg said, the benefits carried the day. “We found there will be less trash cans on the Avenue…in addition there will be less overflow. They are going to hold five times more trash,” Brumberg stated.

The CHCA also agreed with Brumberg’s assessment. But there was one condition added before the board voted to accept the Big Belly’s. “I think we should add to this motion that there will be no advertising,” said board member Richard Snowden. This came up, after board member Arthur Howe raised concern that the City of Philadelphia might use the compactors as a Trojan horse billboard to feature Center City ads.

The CHCA also plans to limit the placement of the Big Belly’s in Chestnut Hill from Cresheim Valley Drive to no higher than Southampton Ave.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal