Solar-powered trash cans gobble up coffee cups, litter

| May 30, 2013 | 0 Comments


NEW SOLAR trash cans hold four times as much waste.

NEW SOLAR trash cans hold four times as much waste.

They’re sleek and they’re smart, and they’re coming to Larchmont this month.

Holding up to four times as much trash as their old-fashioned counterparts, BigBelly Solar bin’s contents of paper coffee cups and styrofoam are compacted and computed via a GPS notification system, cutting pick-up times and cost, says Tom Kneafsey, head of Larchmont Business Improvement District (BID).

The program is sponsored by Councilman Tom LaBonge who is donating five of the bins to Larchmont Blvd.

“The solar-powered trash compactors are an opportunity for the BID to save money, while also providing Larchmont with cleaner and eco-friendly waste containers,” said Ben Seinfeld, field deputy for Councilman LaBonge.

Larchmont BID pays $25,000 annually to pick up trash twice daily from the Boulevard’s 23 existing cement trash cans.

The pick up service will continue, but it is hoped to drop to two to three times per week as the older bins are phased out, Kneafsy said.

But not everyone is happy with the plan.

A total of 15 solar trashcans at a cost of $30,000 were to be donated to Larchmont, but members of the Larchmont Boulevard Association unanimously voted against the measure.

trashcan web

OLD FASHIONED ones may all be replaced.

“As much as everyone appreciates  the effort of recycling and the concept of improving costs for trash collections, we adamantly do not feel this is a solution,” LBA president John Winther said.

The reasons cited were their scale and size and reports of santitation issues.

“They would literally cover up store fronts, deter pedestrians from walking and in general be a hazard.  The uneven sidewalk, the signs and tables are enough of challenge…” Winther wrote via e-mail.

Under a compromise, the 12-volt battery operated bins will replace five of the older trash receptacles at Peet’s, Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Jamba Juice and Rite Aid. Three are double bins paired with a recycling receptacle.

At 50.4-inches tall, they are one small coffee cup taller than the existing containers, Kneafsey said.

The sun-powered trash cans hold 150 gallons of compacted trash and feature an enclosed top, keeping litter inside and off the streets and out of storm drains.

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