Iowa State University Introduces Solar Trash Compactors to Reduce Expenditure on Trash Collection

Trash clearance at the Iowa State University has become green energy-friendly with the installation of solar-powered compactors. The university has deployed 11 new big sized solar compactors all over its campus where the trash accumulation was plentiful.

The solar-powered compactors are reducing the costs of trash collection with compacting facility. The compactors utilize the installed solar panels to collect and store the electric power all through the day and use it to operate the compactor when the trash level at the container reaches a certain point. A sensor installed in the compactor notifies the clearing facilities when the trash containers need to be emptied, thus saving the time of workers from constantly needing to check the containers at regular intervals. Each of the compactors is designed to collect five times more trash than a normal 25-gallon trash container.

Merry Rankin, the Director of Sustainability at Iowa State University, said that the university has placed one such compactor before the Curtiss Hall at the university campus during the fall of 2009 and monitored its usage closely, satisfied with the results and ordered for more such compactors. She added the solar compactors have reduced the collection costs of the university by 90%. She added, though each compactor costs approximately $5,000, the university will be in a position to recover the cost of investment within a maximum of five years.


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