Chestnut Hill: Environmental Activists Want to Bring Big Bellies to the Hill

Amy Edelman, the president and co founder of GRiNCH, said that everyone loves using the Big Belly outside her bakery.
Amy Edelman, the president and co-founder of GRiNCH, said that everyone loves using the Big Belly outside her bakery.

When you hear the word Grinch you probably think of the green monster that destroyed a holiday in the whimsical Dr. Seuss book, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas“, but a local environmental group is working on saving a community rather than obliterating it.

Green in Chestnut Hill, or its acronym, GRiNCH, wants to educate the surrounding community about recycling trash and other earth friendly practices.  Most recently, its members have been working with the Chestnut Hill Community Association and Land Use Planning and Land Use Planning and Zoning (LUPZ) to implement trash containers that have solar powered compactors, called Big Belly.  The black, rectangle shaped, trash bins can hold four to five times more of what residents throw away than the conventional collectors.

Chestnut Hill has the opportunity to place 15 of these Big Belly containers throughout the 19118 zip code. The innovative solar compactors are already spread around the city of Philadelphia and since their placement in the Center City, trash pickup has decreased nearly 30 percent.  A self-contained space for recycling means the Big Belly is paying for its expense with every pickup.

GRiNCH thought trading the traditional trashcans in Chestnut Hill would be easily accepted by the neighborhood and was surprised the governing board of the Chestnut Hill Community Association was less responsive.  GRiNCH responded by collecting 300 petition signatures from neighbors living within the designated zip code.  That supportive initiative will be presented to the board at the end of June.

“With these petitions, we want to show that this is what the community wants,”said Amy Edelman, GRiNCH president.  One Big Belly has already been placed outside of her owned and operated restaurant, Night Bakery. This allowed the community to have an opportunity to use the giant trash collectors for the first time. If the Big Belly solar trashcans are approved, the next initiative will be specific placement of the new additions.

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