I was walking through Boston today and I noticed special trash cans all over the city called the “big belly trash can”. The trash compactor powered by a solar panel holds 5 times as much trash as your typical trash can because it uses the power of the sun to compact the trash, thus reducing the amount of trips the trash trucks have to make to collect trash. This innovative and simple application of solar power has already saved the city of Boston significant amount of money on gas and has reduced green house gas emissions caused by multiple trash pickups. The big belly trash can is a great example of the savings even a small solar panel can deliver if applied with some thought.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said, “The solar trash receptacles have to go citywide. It will give us a more productive work force because you don’t have to pick them up every day.” the downside to most solar powered technology is the price, the big belly retails starting at $5,000 per unit depending on the model and the volume purchased. Although with gas prices hitting all time highs, the break even point of owning a Big Belly Trash is attractive.