Thursday, 4:30 PM
Menino fights garbage with solar-powered trash cans
(Bill Greene/ Globe Staff)
One of the new solar powered trash can in Downtown Crossing.
By Matt Viser, Globe Staff
Mayor Thomas M. Menino this morning unveiled his latest city improvement: solar-powered trash compactors.
"I think they're great," said Menino, adding that the city will save money because trash workers will have to empty the bins fewer times. "Our goal is to do the best we can in the cleanliness of our city."
The new cans went up about a week ago and are spread throughout the city: five at Boston Common and Fanueil Hall, and 10 each at Downtown Crossing, Mattapan Square, Newbury Street, and Boylston Street.
City officials say that the city's fullest trash cans -- which are at Downtown Crossing -- used to be emptied 15 times a day. Now, workers only have to go two or three times a day.
Passersby, though, have been giving quizzical looks to the green bins, which are much larger than normal trash cans and have a solar panel on top that powers the compactor inside. Some initially speculated that it was a power generator to control traffic lights.
"They look like mailboxes," said one man. "Big, green mailboxes."
"The question is: Why?" said Ed Swindelles, a 60-year-old software engineer. "I think it's a big waste of money."