Solar-powered trash compactors called BigBellys are being installed along Philadelphia's sidewalks. The new bins are powered completely by the sun and hold eight times as much waste as a typical city trash can.
The city is installing 500 of the compactors by July and 210 of them will include separate recycling bins. The greatest thing about these compactors is the fact that they will save the city $12.9 million over 10 years since they only need to be emptied five times a week versus 19 times for the regular trash cans, slashing fuel and staff costs. This also offers the benefit of less CO2 emissions from fewer garbage pick-ups.
The bins include sensors that detect when they're full and wireless devices that alert the city's Streets Department that it's time for pick up. Because trash is enclosed in the bin once it's discarded, they will cut down on city litter that would accumulate from trash falling out of the old wire bins.
Philadelphia isn't the only area to benefit from their use. Besides the units installed at Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania, trash compactors have also been installed in Chicago's Millenium Park and Boston's Fenway Park.
written by EcoRealty, June 10, 2009
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