Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Portland streets get solar-powered trash cans

Parking mogul Greg Goodman was walking in Boston last year when he saw something that looked like a mailbox with a solar panel.

It wasn't a mailbox. It was a solar-powered trash can that smashes garbage, making room for more garbage, limiting how often it's emptied and theoretically saving fuel and cutting costs.

He donated both to the city of Portland, and they now sit on downtown streets. Each features logos for Goodman's City Center Parking, which operates 200 parking facilities, and the Oregon Environmental Council, a nonprofit he supports.

The cans have been on the street for three weeks now, so it's a little early to judge whether they're saving fuel or anything else, city officials said.

But the Oregon Zoo has five similar cans, which have saved fuel and labor, said Michael Weatherman, the zoo's custodial manager. "I am very happy with them," Weatherman said.When garbage reaches a certain level, a sensor triggers the compactor, which compresses the trash.

Lights on the front of the can -- green, yellow and red -- tell garbage haulers when it should be emptied. The solar panel works even in the rain.

No comments:

Post a Comment