On Friday, I had several meetings in Union Square and I had 2 hours of free time in between meetings. I decided to go to Union Square Park to check out the farmer's market. I like the wheat grass stand, I used to buy wheat grass seeds from them, but they told me that the farmer's market changed their rules and they are not allowed to sell seeds anymore, because they are only allowed to sell grown grass. (sigh) How annoying, this doesn't make sense to me. They're restricted to only sell items they grow, however, where do they think seeds come from, it's produced by the plant... I don't get who comes up with these rules!
UnionSquareNYC.org community website, I couldn't find more information about these unique garbage cans. I'm surprised that something so "green" didn't make it to the community's website.
BigBelly Corporation and that the garbage can contains a compactor inside that compacts the garbage using solar power. Their website states that it can hold 5 times more garbage than an ordinary receptacle, while being the same size. This saves the community money by cutting down on sanitation pickup costs. Very interesting. The compactors though are a bit pricey at $4,000 a receptacle, however, I'm sure it pays in the long run with all the savings on cutting down on the sanitation schedule. I found this article and also this video where the Vice President of the company explains how the solar compactor works.
I love the idea that the compactor uses solar panels, and therefore does not cost the city anything to power it. However, I'm wishing that we could change the mindset of people. In the park, there are recycling containers that collect paper and aluminum / glass and I wonder how many people still throw away what can be recycled into the trash compactor. Also, I was thinking, how nice it would be if in addition to the solar compactor, if we could get solar composters available as well so that people can put organic materials in there and the compost could be used within the park. Now that would be a phenomenal idea.