We’ve blogged about solar powered trash cans in the past, but this cool urban invention can save so much money and the environment that its worth talking about again!
So, what makes solar powered trash cans so special?
These receptacles, manufactured by BigBelly (photographed above), use free solar energy to operate an automatic trash compactor inside. The garbage is pressed down, making more room for additional trash and extending the time between garbage pick-ups.
Over the course of the bin’s life-time, fuel savings can really add up! This is because fewer garbage trucks are required to collect trash, and they can do so less frequently. The BigBelly also takes up less room and maintenance because it can serve as a recycling center, as well.
Although the price for a BigBelly solar powered trash can and recycling receptacles is currently a fairly steep $4000, the manufacturer expects them to be increasingly found in urban areas, sports arenas and community centers.
Pedestrians can easily separate refuse into items that can be recycled and composted. The remainder is set aside for the landfill.
This helps reduce the overall amount of trash to be collected. Plus, the solar powered trash compactor automatically makes more room in the bin.
Only when the trash can is finally filled will a garbage truck arrive to empty the bin. Specialized software contacts a central dispatch unit for the trucks.
This means that the garbage trucks only come when necessary and not on a pre-determined schedule, whether needed or not. By reducing the trips made by these trucks throughout a city, the municipality can save on fuel, reduce noise pollution and even minimize a source of traffic in the early morning hours, making streets safer.
What do you think about solar powered trash cans? Worth it, or just a gimmick?