Solar compactor

Florida Town Tests Expensive Solar Powered Trash Cans

Venice, FL – One Florida town is joining other cities across the nation in testing out solar powered trash cans, which help compact the trash as it sits. This interesting-sounding piece of green tech is ridiculously expensive at about $4,000 a pop, so is the investment worth it?

Over the past week, Venice has installed solar powered trash cans in various parts of town. City leaders say they’re just trying it out to see if the cost of the high-tech can outweighs the costs of having sanitation workers to empty regular trash cans more often.

Public Works director John Veneziano says that the solar powered trash cans will ultimately lead to less driving for garbage trucks and will save on staff and travel costs to the city. Because they compact the trash on the spot, they are able to hold about five-times the amount regular bins can carry.

“If we went with these cans on a widespread basis, you could potentially cut down on that work effort by up to 80%,” he said.

The cans are also Wi-Fi capable, and notify the sanitation department when they are ready to be emptied.

Naturally, some residents are skeptical, especially over the potential of falling into disrepair and requiring expensive maintenance. But Veneziano cautions that the solar powered trash cans aren’t permanent yet. “This is a trial basis. We are going to look at the total economics of it,” he says.

Solar powered trash cans are actually being used in other parts of the country, too. In Philadelphia, these cans have been somewhat ubiquitous in the downtown area for the past year, with Motherboard‘s Brian Merchant, a Philadelphia resident, claiming that they saved the city almost $1 million dollars last year.

Don’t fuss over sanitation workers, either. Apparently in Philly, their routes are just more optimized. No one is losing their job.

Check out a video report on solar powered trash cans below, and let us know what you think:

[Image via: George100, Wikimedia Commons]

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