Chicago Drops $2.5M on Trash Compactors

New trash units will use solar power to compact garbage

By Sandra Torres
|  Monday, Mar 7, 2011  |  Updated 9:15 AM CDT
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Sun-Times Media

The city of Chicago buys new trash compactors to place in the loop.

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Garbage collection in the Loop will soon change thanks to a new purchase.

The city bought about 400 solar-powered trash compactors for streets in downtown Chicago, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Each unit compacts the trash using solar power, and it holds about five times the garbage of a normal trash can.

The compactor also contains a built-in sensor to alert when it's full.

Federal money paid for the $2.5 million purchase from Massachusetts-based BigBelly Solar.

Philadelphia has been using the trash compactors since 2009, according to the Sun-Times.

A year after installing 500 of the solar-powered compactors, garbage collections dropped to five times a week, compared to 17 times a week with 700 regular trash bins.

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