Lovington, New Mexico is the latest city to consider solar-powered trash cans as a way to save money. The solar trash cans compact the trash, cutting down on overflow and reducing the number of weekly pickups required.
The Albuquerque Joural reports that regular trash containers in public places must be picked up between three and five times a week, according to Jeff Sabin, government affairs manager for Waste Management, the companying selling the high-tech bins. “We’re reducing the carbon footprint,” Sabin said. “Fewer collections save the company money.”
The solar trash bins being considered for the pilot program are similar to those currently being used in other cities, like, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia. The 300-pound boxes, made by Big Belly Solar, cost about $3,800. One side of the unit is for recycling, the other for trash. They are powered by a 12 volt, integrated off-grid solar panel.
James Williams, Lovington City Manager says, “I would like to attempt a pilot program deploying two to four of these in the downtown area to see how they work,” Williams told city commissioners at a recent meeting. “I think it would help with some long-term savings in staff and fuel costs.”
Although the solar trash compacting bins are being used in many of the larger cities in the U.S., Lovington is one of the first smaller cities to consider the solar trash cans. Lovington has a population of about 11,000. Fort Collins, Colorado, Jupiter Florida and Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina are currently using the Big Belly units.