Solar-Powered and Trash-Compacting Garbage Cans
The city of Cincinnati now has 20 solar-powered trash cans that also work as compactors. These trash cans are invented by James Poss and produced by Seahorse Power Co. It is encouraging that an invention of James Poss, who is president of BigBelly Solar of Needham located in Massachusetts, finds its way to Cincinnati, Ohio.
The new compactors, named BigBelly, cost $4,400 each. The city used $88,000 in grant money from the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation to buy them. Of course, the money could have been used for other things that the city needs, as critics charge, but less trash on the ground and fewer garbage trucks emitting fumes will make Cincinnati a greener, healthier city.
These devices use only solar power to compact the trash and so they can hold up to 5 times more trash than a conventional trash can. Holding more trash translates to less rounds by city garbage collectors, which saves labor, time, and gas. Having a compactor in the trash can that enables it to hold more trash also lessens the incidents of pedestrians unable to find a trash can that isn't overflowing with trash.
Besides being solar-powered, another high tech feature is the internal sensor that monitors the BigBellys' capacity. University of Cincinnati senior engineering students helped develop this monitoring system, making this endeavor a good example of how local talent can partner with expertise from another state to produce practical solutions and generate more opportunities to develop green technologies that enhance the quality of life for many people.
With a monitoring system that receives transmissions from the BigBelly, city workers will empty the cans only when they are full. This maximizes utility of the trash can and simultaneously reduces the number of scheduled trips to empty the cans, saving the city gas money.Continued on the next page