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Waste Watch: Hi-Tech Trash Cans Popping Up Around Austin

Updated: Wednesday, August 21 2013, 01:05 PM CDT

Capital Metro is installing solar powered trash bins at some of its bus stops where there is the most traffic. They hope the money spent up front will turn to long term savings and less litter.

"We've purchased about 12 of them to look at and research to see if they fit well into our system here," said Capital Metro Sustainability Officer Rob Borowski.

According to Capital Metro's capital improvement plan the agency has approved spending around half a million dollars from now through 2017 to buy the tech savvy litter containers.

According to the report some the funds used in 2013 to buy the bins comes from grant money.

Capital Metro says the big belly containers may be able to help slash spending.

"We'll have to balance that and look at the costs overall and see what it does," said Borowski.  "We'll go into this as fast or as slow as we need to."

The containers work as industrial compacters pushing the waste down as it piles up.

Working off solar power Capital Metro can monitor the amount of waste in the bin remotely and schedule pickups around total disposal.

They say it will reduce the amount of trash pickups, which means using less gas and a significant carbon footprint reduction.

"The more we can do to save energy, to save fuel, to be more efficient, the better it is for the city the customers our riders for everyone," said Borowski.

At the moment they are just running a type of pilot program to see how the containers work.

These types of containers are popping up in cities across the country. It is just one of the measures they are hoping to implement that also ties into Austin's zero waste goals.

By Adam RacusinWaste Watch: Hi-Tech Trash Cans Popping Up Around Austin


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