Louisville Brings BigBelly Solar to Their Busiest Locations

Written by
The Courier-Journal

Nearly 30 high-traffic locations in downtown Louisville are getting solar-powered metal receptacles that will compact trash and allow the public to be more environmentally friendly when disposing of rubbish or recycling.

Mayor Greg Fischer rolled out the containers at a news conference Thursday morning in front of the KFC Yum! Center on Main Street.

“As we focus on being the most sustainable city in the country, initiatives like this will not only keep our streets cleaner but greener as well,” Fischer said. “The solar-powered compactors provide our community with many economic, social and environmental benefits.”

The solar-powered receptacles are compactors that hold five times the capacity of traditional waste containers, which means fewer collection trips, fuel savings, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, less wear and tear on the infrastructure, and fewer man hours. The compactors’ solar technology allows them to operate even on cloudy days and at night.

Waste Management Inc., which has a contract with the city for waste hauling, is donating 12 compactors, while the Louisville Downtown Development Corp. purchased an additional 16 compactors to be placed in high-traffic areas around downtown.

Compactors initially will be placed along Main, Market and Fourth Streets, replacing trash cans, and adding new opportunities for recycling. If the recycling program is a success, additional compactors will be placed downtown, officials said.

The compactors will be placed in pairs, one for trash and one for recycling, allowing easy disposal of waste by residents, workers, and visitors. Each compactor has a computer panel, which can be read online, letting city sanitation management know how full a can is, when it needs to be emptied, or if it needs maintenance.

The project falls under the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team goal of making Louisville greener by increasing recycling and diverting solid waste from the landfill.