First VCU, now city getting solar-powered trash compactors

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - We first told you about the solar powered trash compactors that are on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. Now,  the City of Richmond is pitching in hoping to have 27 new compactors in areas of the city very soon.

This is all being funded by a federal grant, worth $135,000 for the city. Richmond leaders tell us the bidding process just ended Tuesday and now city leaders are looking for the lowest bid so they can get as many solar compactors as possible.

We're told these solar compactors will be put in high foot traffic areas, like Broad Street near bus stops and along areas in Carytown.

We talked with Frances Daniel,  who works at Mrs. Marshall's Carytown Cafe. She tells us, despite having a traditional trash can right outside her store, people still miss. "People just toss and don't hit. But, if it's all going to be these solar compactors, it should make life better. At least we hope so."

City leaders say getting these compactors is a result of Mayor Dwight Jones initiative to go green. The city just completed a four-week pilot program where they had some compactors outside of City Hall. The pilot program worked.

"These will have  a cost benefit for us," said public works spokeswoman Sharon North. "We won't have to bring trucks through as often to empty them." In fact, during the pilot program, North says the bins only had to be emptied once.

"It's going to help save on fuel and reduce our carbon footprint," she adds.

Daniel hopes the new bins help clean up Carytown even more, and attracts more business to the area. "You don't want to go to a place that looks like it's nasty and dirty. Everyone wants to go somewhere that looks good," she said.

The new trash compactors will be easy to use, just like a trash can now. All you have to do is throw your trash in and the compactor does the rest.

"We were all trained by our parents to use trash cans and I hope people remember that," added Daniel.

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