Solar-powered trash compactors and recycling units will be installed in the city of Detroit this summer in a bid to promote sustainability.
The units, provided by US-based firm BigBelly, contribute to the protection of the environment in multiple ways. Not only do they use energy from the Sun to charge its batteries, but by compressing the waste inside the bin, they collect considerably more garbage before they need emptying.
The units are also equipped with a smart system that sends a signal to the city’s waste management officers every time the bin needs emptying. In this way, the system contributes to the reduction of carbon emissions, as the garbage collecting vehicles are only despatched to bin locations as and when required, rather than on a fixed schedule regardless of need.
The project is sponsored by local utility firm DTE Energy.
"We believe the Bigbelly project will be good for our customers, our employees and the Detroit neighbourhood where we are based and the larger Detroit community we serve," said David Meador, vice chairman and chief administrative officer for DTE Energy. "We hope other companies will consider these cost-effective units to achieve critical mass toward creating a cleaner, greener community."
Initially, only seven units - collecting general waste, plastic and aluminium for recycling - will be installed in downtown Detroit, but DTE Energy said it will consider installing further units across the city if the project is successful.