AYER — When the town successfully achieved its Green Community status in 2011, with that designation came a number of perks and benefits. Topping the list was a grant check for over $151,000, Green Community signage to be displayed throughout town and a pair of BigBellys. BigBellys?

In this case these BigBellys are solar powered trash compactors that collect both trash and recyclable material and are not only solar powered but they also send a signal to a central computer location at their main company in Needam which helps to monitor their ” trash” activity and make the pickup process more efficient.

With the coordination of Ayer’s Director of Economic Development, David Maher and the help of members of the DPW Highway crew, a location was chosen that would not only afford a maximum amount of daily sunlight to produce their solar power but would also offer the best visibility for citizen use and perception. The BigBellys found their home on Main Street next to the town’s historic sitting shelter across from Town Hall.

As part of Ayer’s upcoming spring cleanup Green Communities kickoff day on April 21, the BigBellys, with their state-of-the-art technology, sleek, clean look and modern pickup efficiencies, will be highlighted as part of Ayer’s commitment to fostering a “greener” town and community.

The 2012 Cleaner Ayer day will be coordinated from Depot Square and will celebrate Earth Day with teams of representatives, volunteers and co-workers fanning out across Ayer collecting discarded trash, furniture, and any recyclable items, then returning to the Square for their disposal.

Representatives from many different companies that promote energy efficiency — like Conservation Services Group, which conducts free home energy audits, and Transformations, a company that installs solar electricity systems — will be on hand to demonstrate their latest technologies and answer questions about many of the Green Community activities Ayer is involved in.

Also on display will be sculptures made from recycled materials, banners and Earth Day posters made by local school children. The day will close with an invitation for all who participate to enjoy some fun and relaxation beginning at Shirley’s Phoenix Restaurant.

If you can’t make it to help clean up our town, its neighborhoods and check out our newest Green technology, then on your next visit to Main Street be sure to bring something that you can deposit in our town’s newest BigBelly.

For information about Cleaner Ayer, contact Laurie Sabol, Recycling Committee chairwoman, at or 978-496-5839.