2006-06-16 / Community

Pheffer,LIPA Show Off BigBellies

By Brian Magoolaghan

They're lining up to try out Tribute Park's BigBelly trash compactor: Left to right, Seahorse Power Company Director of Sales Alexander L. Perera, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, LIPA Chairman Richard Kessel, City Councilman Joseph Addabbo Jr., Chamber of Commerce President John Lepore, State Senator Malcolm Smith and Special Assistant to Congressman Anthony Weiner, Lydon Sleeper. They're lining up to try out Tribute Park's BigBelly trash compactor: Left to right, Seahorse Power Company Director of Sales Alexander L. Perera, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, LIPA Chairman Richard Kessel, City Councilman Joseph Addabbo Jr., Chamber of Commerce President John Lepore, State Senator Malcolm Smith and Special Assistant to Congressman Anthony Weiner, Lydon Sleeper. Beach 116 Street has two new trash compactors that do the job of several traditional trash baskets and use the sun's energy to smash garbage, thanks to a grant from the Long Island Power Authority.

The high-tech BigBelly compactors, which are green and roughly the size of a U.S. Postal Service mailbox, were recently installed outside the Rockaway Park/Beach 116 Street subway stop and at Tribute Park. The price tag for both of the units was about $9,500.

Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer and LIPA Chairman Richard Kessel, who together secured the grant to bring the BigBellies to Rockaway, held a small dedication last Friday at Tribute Park to show off the park's newest addition.

"It really is a great piece of furniture for our park," said Pheffer. "It fits in and it looks beautiful."

The BigBelly is located just inside the park gates and blends with plants surrounding it. Pheffer's Chief of Staff, JoAnn Shapiro, pointed out that the compactor keeps trash cans from dotting the park's landscape.

Alexander L. Perera, Director of Sales at Seahorse Power Company, which manufacturers the BigBelly, said the compactors automatically use 1200 pounds of force to smash trash, which reduces collections by at least four times. The BigBelly in Tribute Park needs to be emptied about once every three weeks, he said.

The cans, which have a solar panel built in, are not wired to an electrical source but have a battery that stores a three-week power reserve, Perera said.

Trash is stored in a locked part of the unit - keeping people and animals out - and a LED indicator lights up when the compactor needs to be emptied. The BigBellies will be emptied by men from the DOE Fund's "Ready, Willing & Able" street cleaning program.

"We are extremely grateful to the DOE Fund for their generous assistance in maintaining the BigBelly," said Chamber of Commerce President John Lepore.

Kessel called the BigBellies, "a winwin for Rockaway's residents and the environment."

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