Economic Development Newsroom

City Installs New Solar Powered Recycling and Trash Compactors

Thursday November 15, 2012

Mayor Greg Fischer unveiled new on-street solar-powered receptacles that will allow the public to be more environmentally-friendly when disposing of their trash or recycling.

“As we focus on being the most sustainable city in the country, initiatives like this will not only keep our streets cleaner but greener as well,” Fischer said. “The solar-powered compactors provide our community with many economic, social and environmental benefits.”

The solar-powered receptacles are compactors, holding five times the capacity of traditional waste containers, which means fewer collection trips, fuel savings, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, less wear and tear on the infrastructure, and fewer man hours. The compactors’ solar technology allows them to operate even on cloudy days and at night.

Through the city’s contract with Waste Management for its waste hauling, the city has 12 compactors, and Downtown Development Corporation purchased an additional 16 compactors to be placed in high-traffic areas around downtown.

“We believe that the future of our community is inexorably tied to its environmental health and sustainable practices,” said DDC Executive Director Alan DeLisle. “As the community’s economic and cultural heart, we want Downtown to provide leadership in these issues.”

Compactors initially will be placed along Main, Market and Fourth Streets, replacing old trash cans, and adding new ability for people to recycle. As the city earns more units, they will continue to replace garbage cans on regular collection routes in downtown.

The compactors will be placed in pairs, one for trash and one for recycling, allowing easy disposal of waste by residents, workers, and visitors. Each compactor has a computer panel, which can be read online, letting city sanitation management know how full a can is, when it needs to be emptied, or if it needs maintenance.

This project falls under the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team goal of making Louisville greener by increasing recycling in the city and diverting solid waste from the city landfill.