• 66°

Celebrating a solar-powered trash can

By Mark Wineka
mwineka@salisburypost.com
GRANITE QUARRY — It’s not often you call a press conference to brag about a trash can, but Granite Quarry celebrated a new solar-powered trash compactor Wednesday at Granite Lake Park.
“We’re very excited about it,” said Beth Calhoun, chairwoman of the town’s Recycling Committee.
She predicted it will keep the park cleaner, besides the side benefits of reducing emissions, labor and fuel costs associated with emptying its contents.
“Aesthetically, it’s neat, too,” said Bob Voelker, another member of the recycling committee.
While the typical garbage can has a 35-gallon capacity, the solar-powered compactor — donated to the town by Waste Management — can hold 180 gallons of refuse before having to be emptied.
Thanks to the compactor, a can has the capacity of five or six, said Stan Joseph, who handles government and community relations for Waste Management’s South Atlantic Area.
Joseph said the completely sealed, galvanized steel unit is rodent-proof and graffiti-resistant. It also offers opportunities on its panels for advertising, which could supply revenue to the town for other “green” efforts, Joseph suggested.
At the top of the can, in front of the solar collection panel, are a series of lights.
A blinking green light means the can has plenty of room to receive more trash. A yellow light warns that only 10 to 15 percent capacity is left. A red light says the compactor is full and should be emptied.
Joseph said the solar-powered trash compactors cost about $4,500 each.
He said his company decided to donate a solar trash compactor to Granite Quarry because of its long partnership with the town. Waste Management collects the town’s garbage on a contract basis.
These kinds of cans have found their greatest use to date in parks, at colleges and in certain urban settings.
Joseph said they are in use at schools such as Wake Forest University and Harvard University. Philadelphia has deployed 500 of the cans in its central city, Joseph added, and has gone from using 17 vehicles to five to seven in their collections in that area.
Philadelphia figures its savings over 10 years will be $10 million, Joseph said.
Dr. John Wear, head of Catawba College’s Center for the Environment, said an important aspect of this kind of can is that it cuts down on fossil fuel consumption by reducing the number of collection trips. And by compacting the trash, it is reducing the bulk that ultimately goes into a landfill.
Overall, it improves air quality, Wear said.
Calhoun said about 11 percent of Granite Quarry residents recycle now, and her committee would like to see that number double and triple in coming years. Joseph said Waste Management offers a recycling kiosk to complement its solar-powered trash compactors.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

Comments

Comments closed.

Crime

Concord man charged with woman’s murder in drive-by shooting

Ask Us

Ask Us: Have city, county elected officials received COVID-19 vaccine?

Local

City gives away nearly 100 trees during ‘We Dig Salisbury’ event

Local

Political Notebook: Bitzer expects most ‘Trump-like’ candidate to be favorite in state’s Senate race

Crime

Blotter: Concord man arrested in Rowan for indecent liberties with children

Coronavirus

Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot

Nation/World

Police: FedEx shooter legally bought guns used in shooting

News

Hester Ford, oldest living American, dies at 115 … or 116?

Local

Size of pipeline spill again underestimated in North Carolina

BREAKING NEWS

Kannapolis Police searching for suspect who fled scene of homicide

Education

RSS superintendent talks district’s future, strategic plan survey

News

Complaints and fines pile up against unpermitted landfill in southwest Rowan County

College

Catawba baseball: Crowd comes out to say goodbye to Newman Park

Lifestyle

History is a great teacher: Farming has helped shape Rowan County

Business

‘A safe place for them’: Timeless Wigs and Marvelous Things celebrates fifth anniversary

China Grove

County will hear request for more tree houses, hobbit-style homes in China Grove

Coronavirus

Livingstone College partners with Health Department to administer 500 Pfizer vaccinations

Education

‘Elite and it shows’: Staff at Partners in Learning at Novant celebrate news of national accreditation

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion earns Energy Star award for 20th consecutive year

Columns

Ester Marsh: What body type are you?

Nation/World

The queen says goodbye to Philip, continues her reign alone

Nation/World

Worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops a staggering 3 million

Nation/World

US, China agree to cooperate on climate crisis with urgency

Nation/World

Sikh community calls for gun reforms after FedEx shooting