Finding Efficiency At Home, In the Trash

Solar-powered trash compactors, while not cheap, pay for themselves relatively quickly. With state and city budgets more liquid thanks to stimulus money, municipalities are snapping them up.
September 11, 2009, 11am PDT | franny.ritchie
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"Early this decade, company founder Jim Poss, who had worked in the solar and electric-vehicle fields, was struck by the number of overflowing garbage cans he saw and the huge inefficiencies he detected in the carting business. Garbage cans are filled mostly with air and the trucks are expensive to operate-about $100 per hour, all costs considered. "I figured there's a lot of inefficiency there. If you compact trash on site, you can make trucks and the people running them more effective." Instead of spending money driving trucks around-burning gas and spewing carbon dioxide into the ozone-we'd all be better served spending the same money on efficiency-producing compactors. Especially if those compactors keep streets clean by trapping garbage inside them and can be powered by a free source of clean energy: the sun."

Thanks to Franny Ritchie

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Published on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 in Slate.com
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