This solar trash compactor recently installed at a Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority transfer station is saving on cleaning costs. One can replace four regular trash cans and requires emptying twice a month instead of once a day.
ST. PETERSBURG - For nearly a year, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority has been setting monthly ridership records. Along with that increased ridership comes the side effect of more trash at bus stops and transfer centers.
“It’s been a challenge,” said PSTA Facilities Maintenance Manager Kevin Hoyt. “Keeping the bus stops clean is very important for our riders and for the communities we serve. These innovative compactors are the perfect solution.”
Hoyt is talking about 14 new solar-powered trash compactors that the agency just installed at various locations throughout the county. Manufactured by Big Belly Solar Inc., the compactors harness the power of information technology and renewable energy to help reduce the need for costly trash pickups.
Inside these state-of-the-art, solar-powered trash cans, a sensor keeps track of how full the container is and automatically goes through a compaction cycle when needed. Once the can is full and can no longer be compacted, it sends an email to PSTA’s Facilities Maintenance department telling staff it’s ready to be emptied. This very specific, real time notification means that our crews can pinpoint pickups and make their rounds with greater efficiency.
Officials say that just two of the BigBelly cans at a busy transfer location can take the place of four regular cans and reduce the number of times the can needs to be emptied from once a day to twice a month. When the cost of the cans is paid, officials say they will save taxpayers more than $9,000 a year per location in maintenance costs.
The BigBelly compactors can be found at PSTA’s facilities at 34th Street, Gateway Mall, Park Street Terminal, 75th Avenue and Gulf Way, Clearwater Mall, Grand Central Station and Ulmerton Road and 49th Street.
Agency officials plan to purchase about 70 more of the compactors over the next few of years and are looking forward to the added savings.
For more information about PSTA, visit www.PSTA.net or call the PSTA InfoLine at 540-1900.