City to install solar compactors

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The city is trying to go green and save money at the same time by adding new solar trash compactors.

Crews won't have to empty the trash cans as often, cutting down on city maintenance costs. Richmond is setting an example for the rest of the state.

"I think it's a very viable solution the city has come up with," said Matthew Tlusty, Executive Chef of Acradia Fine Dinning in Shockoe Bottom.

City crews will install 44 solar power trash compactors. They can hold almost five times more than a regular trash can. This means workers won't have to empty them as much, cutting down on labor and fuel costs.

"I think it would be good if they spent less money during these economic times and try to save as much as you can now a days," said Tim Christian, who owns a fresh produce on 17th street.

Each compactor will have a recycle bin next to it. Arcadia fine dining Executive Chef, Matthew Tlusty, says he's all for the initiative in Shockoe Bottom.

"What the city has figured out is a way to make it easier for us," said Tlusty. "If you're walking down the street and you have a can of soda and there's a trash can there, you just throw it away."

If there's an option to recycle, Tlusty says it's up to people to take the responsibility. The compactors will be at various locations all over Richmond, from Carytown to Shockoe Bottom, and several city parks.

"I think every city has to take responsibility for that,"Tlusty added. "For years, big cities have been pumping stuff into the water and into the air and now it's time cities recognize it's our problem."

The city has spent around $200,000 from a federal grant to purchase the solar kiosks to help make Richmond a greener city with economics still in mind.

Last fall, the city tested the cans. This Sunday, workers will start installing them. They should have them all set in their places sometime next month. For a complete list of locations, click here.

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