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Everything You Wanted to Know About Solar-Powered Trash Bins

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Solar powered parking meters, meet your garbage-eating cousins. Brigham Yen reports on Pasadena's solar-powered trash compactors, machines that "use solar power to compact trash automatically to reduce the frequency of garbage truck pick-ups." After an initial run proved successful, the city ordered 40 more of the so-called Big Belly trash receptacles (they just love to eat garbage). Built by Massacusetts-based Big Belly Solar, the cans store 200 pounds of waste, about five times the amount of typical city garbage cans. To understand more about solar-powered trash compactors, check out this video from Good magazine, which shows how the ingenious little thing uses energy to prod a metal beam to stamp down the garbage--it also describes how Philadelphia has used the futuristic bins to reduce its collections from 17 to 5 times a week, cut greenhouse gas emissions of pick-ups by 80%, and save $13 million over 10 years. Most of the units come with recycling bins attached.

· More Solar Trash Compactors Added to Pasadena [Brigham Yen]