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BigBelly Program

Providing litter baskets and recycling bins to reduce waste along business corridors and areas with heavy foot traffic.


A BigBelly is an enclosed litter basket that often includes a recycling station. The Department of Streets installs BigBelly units on commercial corridors in high pedestrian areas to:

  • Help reduce litter.
  • Provide access to public recycling.

Advertisements on BigBelly units help fund the program. In 2019, City Council approved a long-term concession contract with Green City Solutions. The contractor sells advertising on BigBelly units in exchange for buying 350 new BigBellies and providing cleaning services.

Some BigBelly units are wrapped in original artwork. The Department of Streets partners with Mural Arts Philadelphia to develop and install these designs.


1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Room 730
Philadelphia, PA 19102


BigBellies send updates on their mechanical condition and capacity to the Department of Streets over Wi-Fi. The baskets also use solar power to self-compact material. This technology:

  • Reduces overflowing litter, which can attract rodents.
  • Increases bin capacity to almost five times more trash than wire litter baskets.
  • Decreases the number of pickups needed from the Department of Streets. Fewer compactor truck pickups lead to lower fuel consumption, lower greenhouse emissions, and better air quality.

Some of the BigBellies have foot pedals, allowing for hands-free disposal.

Process and eligibility

The Department of Streets chooses the placement of BigBelly units in partnership with:

  • Department of Commerce.
  • City Council.
  • Community development corporations.
  • Community groups.

Groups that want units installed in their neighborhood should write a letter to the Department of Streets to request additional information. Drop off or mail letters to:

Streets Department
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Room 730
Philadelphia, PA 19102


  • Department of Commerce
  • Mural Arts Philadelphia