Solar-Powered Trash Cans for Ashland Pilot Program

ASHLAND, Ore. —  In an innovative move, Ashland City Council is installing 13 solar-powered trash cans to combat littering and reduce the time spent on garbage disposal.

The pilot program costs $145,000 and will be funded by Transient Lodging Taxes. The city council is hopeful that the bins will save on servicing costs.

Solar-powered trash cans compress litter when deposited in the bin, increasing bin capacity 10-fold. Sunlight is converted into energy by the solar panels on the high-tech bins. The energy is stored in a battery that powers the compaction mechanism.

The city council decided to spend $4,783 on each of the 13 trash cans to curb littering and reduce servicing costs. The funds are from taxes paid by visitors when booking into hotels.

Public Works Deputy Director Mike Morrison concedes that the trash cans are expensive but is hopeful that they will offset manpower costs in the long run. Also, the new bins carry a five-year warranty and have a 10-year longer lifespan than conventional trash cans, says Morrison.

Morrison says the pilot project will supplement trash cans in the downtown district that are reaching the end of their lifespan.

Another objective of the solar-powered trash can experiment is to establish how many hours of manpower can be saved by cutting down on the frequency of garbage disposal removals.

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