When it’s time to talk trash, there’s hardly ever any good news. Overflowing landfills, hazardous materials leaching into our groundwater–the list goes on and on. Now, there’s some happy talk when it comes to garbage: the BigBelly Solar Compactor.
The little street-side garbage can with the funny name is a patented invention that takes just up as much space as an ordinary can, but can accommodate five times as much waste. That’s because it uses solar power to crunch and munch garbage into the smallest possible space. According to the company that produces the BigBelly, this results in reduced collection trips, which can cut municipal fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by 80%.
So far, BigBelly has proven popular with cities all over the US, including Tucson, Baltimore, Seattle, Chicago, Nashville, Louisville, Mission Viejo, and Philadelphia (the mayor there unveiled 500 of them in 2009.)