As proud city residents, we feel like it’s our right and duty to offer up some constructive criticism. Now if a New Yorker said any of this, we would show him/her a picture of Tom Brady wearing 4 Super Bowl rings. We have encountered two problems in our daily lives; we have from-time-to-time been unable to find trash cans in places where we thought one should be, and when we did find the trash cans they were sometimes full. In our conversations with city staff we learned that Big Bellies were originally installed in a non-strategic manner and that they would love to know more about the usage rates of those trash cans and how to better deploy them. Therefore, we decided to lend a helping hand and create a graphic representation of the Big Belly data and combine it with other relevant data sets to help the cities’ employees more efficiently use their limited resources. The final product identifies: • The Big Belly trash cans that are currently least used and therefore should be targeted for relocation. • We have provided visual representation of where those under-utilized trash cans should be relocated to. • We looked at the Big Belly trash cans that are over-utilized and need to be either more frequently emptied or have more trash cans installed near them to lower the volume per trash can at specific locations. Data sets used Locations of Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts (requested and received from the Boston Globe thanks @Alvin Chang): When thinking about where to put Big Belly trash cans, we thought that the city should focus on areas of both high foot traffic as well as in places that generate a significant amount of pedestrian produced trash. We believe that Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts are good proxies for foot traffic areas as well entities that create a lot of pedestrian trash. • In the future, we believe that this data set can be enhanced by adding convenience stores (7/11, Store24 etc.) and other take-away restaurants (McDonalds, Panera, Boloco etc.) Mayor's hot line- We included several years of data for Request for Litter Baskets. We believe that these geo-locations should also be strongly considered when deciding where to install Big Belly trash cans. Big Belly Data Set: Used to geo-locate as well as analyze which locations are being under-utilized and which ones were Data manipulations: We analyzed the data by spells: A spell is defined as the time period between two green indicators. This is based on the assumption that big bellies return to green when they are cleaned, and therefore that this period represents the time from between each cleaning of the big belly. In the case where the first indicator in the data was not green, the spell was considered to only be partially available. We then could analyze to see how quickly a particular location went through a spell. If it went through quickly that means it filled up quickly. If it stayed red for a long time that meant that it was not being cleaned fast enough. We were told by Big Belly staff that a trash can needs to be emptied at yellow and should never get to red, so we assumed that any red indicator let alone ones that stayed red for a long period of time was an indicator for an improperly managed trash can. We provided 2 tiers of both under-utilized and over-utilized Big Belly locations: To determine which cans which may be unnecessary, we ranked each can by both the percentage of spells in which the can reached either red or yellow, as well as by the average length of each spell. We then flagged all cans with an average spell greater than 30 days (Level 2) and all cans that are both emptied infrequently and do not reach red or yellow often (Level 1). To determine which cans which may be overused, we flagged all cans that averaged more than 48 hours on red in each spell (Level 2), as well as those that spend, on average, more than 48 hours in red in each spell and have an average spell shorter than 7 days. This project proved challenging to provide any definite recommendations for new locations because there is no data set for current regular trash cans. So we were unable to determine if our proposed locations were already serviced by traditional trash cans. However, We think that our project has a potential to help the city by identifying Big Belly’s that can be moved to higher priority areas as well as changing current pick up schedules to keep busy Big Belly’s out of the red.
If there are any questions about our project, please don't hesitate to reach out.
Team Garbage Time