GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Greenburgh will become a little greener since the town purchased a pair of "BigBelly" solar-powered trash compactors to be placed on East Hartsdale Avenue that are expected to save the town thousands in waste removal.
Purchased with the help of a federal grant, each compactor is equipped with technology that sends a wireless signal to a central server where staff can see which machines are full, so managers can optimize collection routes in real-time based on data from every machine in the field.
By using solar power to compact waste at the point of collection, each solar compactor can hold about five times the amount of waste as a typical receptacle, eliminating the need for four out of five collection trips system wide.
"The result is up to an 80 percent reduction in collection vehicle trips that consume large quantities of time and fuel, and divert valuable staff time from other priorities," Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said in a statement. "All while maintaining or improving service levels."
Feiner cited Philadelphia's installation and use of the compactors which has reportedly saved the city $850,000 in their first year of use and is expected to save $13 million over the next 10 years. Philadelphia normally spends $2.3 million annually to empty 700 wire baskets throughout the central part of the city.
"BigBelly solar compactors automatically compact trash to eliminate four out of five collection trips, reducing fuel use and emissions, while allowing the productive redeployment of labor to recycling and other critical services," Feiner added.