Long Beach’s Second Solar Trash Bin Debuts on Second Street

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solar trash cans pilot projectOn Wednesday, July 28, the City of Long Beach debuted the City’s second solar trash can. This solar trash can was installed in Belmont Shore as part of a six-month-long pilot project in various parts of the city.

“I have been looking forward to the installation of the solar trash bins here in Belmont Shore,” said 3rd District Councilmember Gary DeLong.  “I am pleased our City, the Belmont Shore Business Association, the Belmont Shore Parking and Business Improvement Area Advisory Commission and the distributor WAXIE have partnered to bring this technology to our City.”

These solar trash bins harness the power of the sun in an effort aimed at slashing waste, costs and greenhouse gases.  The containers have the same blueprint as regular trash cans but can compact about 150 gallons of trash and compact the material into a 32-gallon bin, squeezing the trash into just 20 percent of its normal volume and operating entirely on solar energy.  In addition, these bins come side by side with bottle, can and paper recycling units to increase recycling rates and boost conservation.

“The Parking Commission has been working for years to bring recycling to Belmont Shore,”” said Kurt Schneiter, Belmont Shore Parking and Business Improvement Area Advisory Commissioner.  “The installation of the solar trash can allows us to use innovative technology to increase recycling and hopefully will lead to a cleaner Belmont Shore.”

The solar trash bins are being tested in three Long Beach locations, in partnership with the Business Improvement Districts, to test the success of the solar technology.  Ultimately, placing these bins in highly activated, high traffic areas, will help the visibility of these bins and their technology, will draw visitors to the area and highlight another green project in the City.  The three installations include the 2nd Street and Argonne Avenue in Belmont Shore; the 200 block of Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach; and Atlantic Avenue and Carson Street in Bixby Knolls.

“This solar trash can is an exciting addition to our City,” said Meredith Reynolds, Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Long Beach.  “In particular, this installation builds upon Belmont Shore’s existing green projects like the bicycle sharrow, bike boxes, bike racks, tree plantings, and solar installations.”

Made from recycled materials, the self-powered system uses built-in solar panels to compact the trash, relying on solar power for 100 percent of the compactor’s needs. The panels, located on top of the compactor, can store energy in a recyclable battery, enabling the device to work when it’s not sunny.  When the container is full, sensors trigger the compactor, flattening the 180 gallons of trash into easy-to-manage bags. The green light on the compactor turns from green to yellow and a signal is then transmitted wirelessly, letting the collectors know the unit is full and ready to be picked up. Each compactor, about the size of a 35-gallon trash barrel, also has a receptacles area for recyclable materials including newspaper, glass, bottles and plastic.

“We believe these solar trash cans are successful tools to harness the power of the sun and look at collecting trash and recycling in a whole new light,” said Keith Schneringer, Marketing Manager of WAXIE Sanitary Supply. “WAXIE is happy to be a partner on this pilot project.”

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