On a recent walk through downtown Palm Springs, I happened across yet another ingenious solar innovation: the solar trash compactor. These nifty gadgets, developed by BigBelly Solar, use solar energy to compact daily waste from residents and tourists into neat 40-pound bricks. They cut down on collection, labor, and carbon emissions involved in trash pick-up.
So far the city has installed four of the compactors around its downtown area. They are equipped with a single solar panel built in on the top of the receptacle and are not much bigger than typical trash cans. They also serve to raise awareness of solar power and the myriad ways it can improve daily life. If these four prove to be the time and money savers the city hopes for, you can expect to see more here and in other cities as well.