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Green Community Designation Delivers Solar Trash Compactors

For Immediate Release: 10/20/2010 10:34 am

Worcester, MA (October 20, 2010) - As a State-designated “Green Community,” the City of Worcester was recently awarded seven BigBelly® Solar Compactors, trash receptacles completely self-powered by solar energy, by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER). The units take up as much space as the “footprint” of an ordinary trash can—but their capacity is five times greater. The BigBelly compactors are capable of holding several times more trash, bottles and cans than similarly sized conventional receptacles, and reduce the need for emptying multiple times a day.

The new solar-powered receptacles will be placed in following public parks: Worcester Common, Green Hill Park and Elm Park. This is yet another step in our efforts to keep our streets and parks clean – and our community green.

As trash collects inside a BigBelly Solar Compactor, an internal “eye” senses when the bin is filling and automatically triggers a compaction cycle. As the compacted trash reaches the level where pick up is desirable after multiple compactions, a message is sent via a notification system, indicating the receptacle is full. Without wasting trips down a street or to a curb for units that do not yet require pick-up, crews have the ability to know exactly when BigBelly solar compactors are ready for pick-up – or still have much more capacity. Externally visible LED indicator lights also communicate bin fullness information to crews.

In May 2010, the City of Worcester was one of only 35 communities in the Commonwealth to be designated a “Green Community” by the DOER – Green Communities Program. This signature program of the Green Communities Act of 2008 uses funding from the auctions of carbon emission permits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to reward designated Green Communities with grants and equipment.

The City also received a grant of $852,083 in July to fund an outreach and sub-grant program to assist residents in offsetting the costs of compliance with energy efficient building codes.

For more information on the City’s green efforts, visit

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