What are solar compactors?

What Are Solar Compactors?

If you’ve ever been walking in a major city then its more than likely that you have witnessed a trash can with a solar panel on top of it. Unlike most other solar devices these trash cans don’t charge your phone. Instead, they use the power of the sun efficiently handle large loads of trash.

These solar compactors are perfect for large cities and are slowly making an impact on the environment we live in. In this article we’ll answer the common question of “What are solar compactors?”. We’ll also explain how they work and how they are beneficial to modern-day society.


What Happens To Public Trash?

Before answering the question of what solar compactors are, it’s important to first explain what happens to public trash in the first place.

After you drop garbage into a public trash can, it’s typically picked up by a large garbage truck. These trucks are extremely massive so they usually only get around 3 miles per gallon.

As most people know this is a very low MPG and thus means the truck has to burn a lot of fuel in order to get the job done. This is bad for the environment and means a ton of pollution is being released into the atmosphere just to transport trash.

To make this even worse majority of these trash cans are not even full. Making the efficiency of transporting trash very low and simply wasteful.

When taking a look at this process one can easily see that the system of dealing with public trash is very inefficient. To combat this inefficiency companies have created solar compactors.


What Are Solar Compactors?

BigBelly Solar CompactorSolar compactors are modern trash cans that are built help reduce pollution. These eco-friendly devices work by using the power of the sun to compact the trash within the can.

By compacting this trash you are able to fit 5 times as much trash then a traditional can. This thus allows the truck to come less often which creates less CO2. In addition to this, the solar energy that the compactor runs on is completely clean.

Most of these solar compactors also come with smart technology that allows the can to transmit data to the collectors. Data such as the weight of the trash, how full it is, and when they should pick it up.

Together these features make the compactor one of the most eco-friendly waste management devices. They are starting to pop up in a lot of highly populated cities and will soon be used rural areas as well.


Are Solar Compactors Worth It?

With all that being said are solar compactors worth it? When looking at it as a whole it would seem like solar compactors are worth it. They are very clean and can have a drastic impact on the environment if done correctly. At the same time they do have some negatives that should be noted.

First, is their cost. Solar trash compactors are not cheap. The most common compactor, Big Belly, costs around $4,000 a unit. This is a very high cost and some even believe it inhibits the compactor from paying for itself in the first place.

Another issue is that solar compactors use solar panels that need direct sunlight to work efficiently. The problem is sometimes vandalism occurs and people spray paint over the panels. This then makes it that little or no energy is converted, which thus stops the can from compacting.

So when looking at solar compactors in general it’s probably safe to say they are worth it. Our environment should be one of our main priorities and should be protected. At the same time there are a lot of bugs that need to be fixed and the technology needs to become cheaper.

We can only hope that time will help this technology as the potential is very high. They can greatly benefit the planet and make the world a cleaner place if done correctly.