I never really thought about it, but consider how much energy could be saved if recycling, compost, and trash cans were only emptied when they were full. Well, the University of Washington may be leading us in that energy efficient direction.
“Last year, the University of Washington realized it had a big waste problem,” Megan Treacy of TreeHugger writes. “A sampling of the garbage at the campus’s Red Square found that 61 percent was actually compostable. To make sure the compostable waste wasn’t going out with the garbage, the university decided to seek a high-tech solution in the form of smart, solar-powered kiosks that collect garbage, compost and recyclables and communicate wirelessly when they need to be emptied.”
The solar-power kiosks automatically send a text to the university’s Recycling and Solid Waste Department when it’s time for a pick-up.
Additionally, the bins “compact the waste they collect, allowing them to hold 500 percent more waste, which eliminates four out of five collection trips that the department used to do with the old bins, reducing fuel consumption.”
Sound like all-around green machines!
Image Credit: © University of Washington Office of News and Information