NEW bins which crush rubbish and tell when they need emptying have been installed across Southampton.

Civic chiefs have announced that 25 solar power bins are now available at different locations across the city including Bitterne, Ocean Village and the city centre as part of a trial which aims to curb litter.

The so-called "Bigbelly" bins are enclosed units containing sensors which activate a compactor mechanism to crush the rubbish when needed.

This maximises the capacity of the bins, city bosses said.

The bins also contain smart technology that informs the depot when the bins need emptying.

Southampton City Council, which has unveiled the scheme, said the new bins will reduce the number of collections being made, vehicles on the road and miles being driven while employees who currently collect waste from litter bins will have their time freed up to focus on other street cleansing duties.

How long the trial will be on for is yet to be disclosed but civic chiefs said that after the pilot is complete, a further city wide roll-out will be considered.

The authority said the bins are enclosed with the waste being completely contained.

Civic chiefs said this will keep wind-blown litter off the streets.

Cllr Christopher Hammond, leader of the city council, said: “We’re working to make our city greener, fairer and healthier.

"Our investment in these new hi-tech solar bins enable us to take five times more rubbish than our standard bins and to know digitally when it needs to be emptied.

"This is more efficient, saves time, keeps our streets cleaner and reduces pollution which endangers wildlife.

"Installing these new solar bins is just one part of the Green City Plan, to ensure that we’re a carbon neutral council by 2030 and that we’re all living in a greener city."

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The bins are supplied by Egbert H Taylor Co.

The council said the new solar power compactor bins have also display panels featuring the council's new anti-littering campaign artwork aimed at encouraging residents to dispose of litter properly.

The city council also said the display panels on the sides of the units are available for advertisers to secure an income stream for the council.

Cllr Steve Leggett, cabinet member for green city and place at the city council, said: “Investment in our waste services is essential to ensure we minimise damage caused to our natural environment.

"Installing these new solar bins is just one step to helping us all to ensure we are doing our bit to prevent rubbish cluttering our streets and possibly endangering our natural wildlife.

"We recently set ambitious, challenging goals to help tackle climate change in our Green City Plan, which demonstrates that the council wants to achieve more.

"We are committed to reducing waste and making the most of our resources."