COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - Collier County is trying out a new idea, solar trash compactors. They're good for the environment, but cost the county a lot of green.
"They're basically going to open the door, place their trash in and close it," Larry Berg with Waste Management explains about the trash can size compactors. Once the trash gets to a certain level inside, the solar powered compactor goes to work.
Berg says the new solar powered can will hold five times the amount of a regular one. That trash is turned into a treasure of savings for Collier Solid Waste Director Dan Rodriguez.
"The county has a large janitorial services and a lot of their time is used in picking up waste," Rodriguez says. Thanks to this machine, county employees would spend less time and fuel collecting.
Plus, the trash compactor never has to be plugged in. It's a savings that equals dollars and fuel emissions, and one city has already caught on.
"They've been piloted in Philadelphia," Berg says. "Philadelphia actually said they were going to save $13 million over a 10 year period."
The trash can in front of the Government Complex in Collier County is just a tester. It costs over $6,000; however, the county would get a discount if they buy in bulk.
Plus, the can has a 10 year guarantee. But, don't plan on the county needing to use that guarantee on bears. The can doesn't give off odors and is bear proof.
The county is going to test the can out for the next two months to see how the public reacts to it. In the meantime, they're going to look into grants that will allow them to buy more of the solar cans to put at parks, libraries and even businesses.