The sidewalks on the streets of Philadelphia are dotted with brand-new solar-powered trash cans these days.
These new, landfill-crunching compacting bins are powered completely by the sun and are capable of receiving around 8 times as much waste as a regular trash can.
The bins, which some have nicknamed Big Belly, can actually save Phillie almost $12 million over a period of 10 years. Since the compacting bins need to be emptied only 5 times a week (as against regular bins which have to be emptied 19 times a week), the city can save hugely on staff time, fuel costs as well as greenhouse-gas emissions.
The first such Big Belly have been inaugurated recently by the Mayor between 15th Street and JFK Boulevard at JFK Plaza.
Over 500 such solar-powered trash compactors will be installed by July 2009, with 210 of them coming with an extra recycling bin component – which is a first for Philadelphia.
Apart from Philadelphia, these trash compactors have first been installed at the Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania, Chicago’s Millennium Park, and Boston’s Fen way Park.