HRT installs solar-powered trash cans

Posted at 3:01 PM, Sep 22, 2012
and last updated 2012-09-22 15:01:47-04

Norfolk, Va. – Hampton Roads Transit has installed six solar-powered trash cans at bus transfer centers and the Newtown Road light rail station to help keep public areas clean.

The cans have built-in trash compactors that allow more refuse to be stored and thus reduce the frequency of emptying them.

“We had some cans that we were emptying twice a day,” said Sibyl Pappas, chief engineering and facilities officer at HRT. “With this approach, we will continue to provide a useful service to our customers, help keep our facilities clean, and use only sunlight to power the device.”

The cans, which are sold under the brand Big Belly Solar, are located at the NET and Thomas Nelson Community College transfer centers in Hampton, the centers at Ocean View and Evelyn T. Butts in Norfolk, at 19th Street and Pacific Avenue in Virginia Beach, and the Newtown Road light rail station.

The can uses a motor-driven chain drive to crush trash and sensors to indicate how full it is.

A GPS wireless device provides location for on-line monitoring and management. They have the capacity to hold five times as much trash as older cans.

Older trash receptacles will be removed, except for the Newtown Road light rail station, which will keep its cans.

The new cans also have panels on the sides to accommodate advertising.