JULY 2009

Waste Management now offers solar-powered trash compactors

Waste Management has entered into an agreement with BigBelly Solar under which Waste Management will provide WM Solar Powered Trash Compactors to its customers inc- luding municipalities and high-traffic facilities.

Under the agreement, Waste Management has become the exclusive waste and environmental services company distributor of BigBelly solar compactor technology in North America.

“We know busy intersections, public parks, city streets, sporting events and other public spaces can be magnets for trash,” said Dave Aardsma, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Waste Management. “Ordinary trash barrels can easily overflow and become eyesores. The Waste Management solar powered trash compactor can provide a number of solutions in those uses, by reducing waste collection frequency, lowering costs for our customers and ensuring a greener, cleaner environment.”

WM Solar Powered Trash Compactors are completely self-powered, using built-in solar panels to compact trash. About the same size as a standard 35-gallon trash barrel, each compactor provides five times the capacity of a traditional trash receptacle. When the unit reaches capacity, sensors trigger an internal compactor that flattens the contents, converting 180 gallons of waste into easy-to-collect bags. A wireless system then signals that the unit is ready to be picked up. This cuts the need for trash pickup by up to 80 percent, which reduces collection costs, fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions. The compactors also include receptacles for collecting plastic bottles, newspapers, glass and other recyclables.

Waste Management will initially target municipal governments and high-traffic facilities interested in reducing the need for trash collection and keeping public spaces clean and litter free. “Consumers report that convenience and accessibility of public trash and recycling receptacles are a major influence in encouraging them to dispose of waste properly and to recycle more,” said Matt McKenna, president and CEO of national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful, Inc.

Waste Management has also installed 15 units at Patriot Place, a 1.3-million-square-foot retail, dining and event destination adjacent to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. “Our WM Solar Powered Compactors are an important piece of Patriot Place’s overall sustainability and recycling initiatives,” said Brian Earley, general manager of Patriot Place. “In addition to promoting recycling and reducing our waste volume and energy consumption, we have realized significant operational efficiencies and cost savings for waste removal.”