Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Solar-powered compactors make Denton, UNT greener
Currently there are four installations on Fry Street and 10 in the downtown area.
Solar-powered trash and recycling compactors installed around downtown Denton’s Square and the Fry Street area are just the latest in an eco-friendly endeavor undertaken by the City of Denton and Keep Denton Beautiful.
Twelve of the Texas-stamped Big Belly installations – each container is emblazoned with the image of bluebonnets– were made possible through a $68,000 Solid Waste Grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and were set up on the Square earlier this month.
Two others have joined a similar pair stationed around Fry Street in March thanks to a grant supplied to Keep Denton Beautiful by Keep America Beautiful, and at least one of the compactors can be found outside the student Union.
“Quite a few other cities have implemented the Big Bellies,” said Shirlene Sitton, recycling manager for the city of Denton. “It’s a really cool thing with the compacting. There were trashcans but no recycling opportunities for pedestrians before the installations.”
Because the trashcans automatically compact the trash inside, they have the potential to cut the frequency of waste collection by 80 percent and reduce the manpower and money spent emptying bins, said Aimee Bissett, community outreach coordinator for Keep Denton Beautiful.
“That reduces the fuel cost and labor cost associated with picking up trash,” Bissett said.
The newest installations were put in action on May 16, meaning the project is currently in the pilot phase, Bissett said.
“We’re seeing how they work now; we don’t know yet,” Bissett said. “It’s likely there will be more added in the downtown area.”
Currently there are four installations on Fry Street and 10 in the downtown area. The trashcans are about two to three times more expensive than traditional trashcans, but Bissett said in the long run “green” investments such as this pay off.
Pegasus News Content partner - North Texas Daily
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