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Pasadena to install more solar-powered trash cans

October 7, 2009 |  6:56 am

Pasadena’s trash cans are about to get fancy.

Late Monday night, the City Council approved a work order to place 40 additional self-compacting solar energy trash cans throughout the city, in addition to the 12 the city already operates.

The city is joining Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Boston and Philadelphia in using the trash cans, called BigBelly Solar Compactors, according to the vendor’s website. The 40 receptacles will cost $146,550.

The trash bins, which first started appearing on Pasadena street corners in 2007, can compact 200 gallons of trash into one 60-gallon “neat” bag, said Gabriel Silva, the environmental programs manager with the city’s Department of Public Works.

“We don’t have to go out with our truck as often,” he said. “We’re making one trip a week versus five trips a week.”

Silva said the city will save $61,400 annually in reduced labor and fuel costs because of the trash cans.

The areas around City Hall and the intersection of South Lake Avenue and East California Boulevard are among the 40 planned installation sites for the trash bins, said Ann Erdman, a spokeswoman with the city.

“It’s part of greening Pasadena,” Silva said.

-- Nicole Santa Cruz