7960361656?profile=originalBy Rich Pollack

    The city of Delray Beach now has a new high-tech weapon in its battle against trash-can overflow.
    For months, representatives from the Beach Property Owners’ Association have voiced concerns about trash spilling out of cans along State Road A1A on weekends, despite regularly scheduled pickups on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings and afternoons.
    To help put the kibosh on the garbage problem and save money and the environment at the same time, the city installed two solar-powered trash compactors along the beach in late November, one near the pavilion at State Road A1A and Atlantic Avenue and another at the south end of the public beach, near Anchor Park.
    In all, the city has installed 13 of the high-tech compactors, which along with running on solar-powered batteries also come equipped with technology that notifies city crews when they’re about 80 percent full.
    “They’re quite good looking,” says Mary Renaud, president of the Beach Property Owners’ Association. “They’re a lot better than what we have now.”
    Along with the two compactors on the beach, the city recently installed a compactor downtown in the 400 block of East Atlantic Avenue, in another area where trash overflow was an issue.
    There are an additional nine compactors located in city parks.
    The first city in Palm Beach County to install the compactors and one of the first in the state, Delray Beach is already realizing benefits since the first one was installed early last year.
    “We’re seeing significant costs savings, we’re reducing our greenhouse-gas emissions and we now have cleaner facilities,” says Rich Reade, the city’s sustainability officer who first discovered the compactors while at a conference.
Reade says most of the savings are the result of the trash receptacles not having to be emptied as frequently as regular cans.
    “You end up being able to hold more and pick up less often,” says Assistant City Manager Bob Barcinski.
    In Veterans Park, where all five of the outdoor cans have been replaced with solar-powered machines, compactors are being emptied only about once every 10 to 14 days as opposed to once every day, according to Parks Maintenance Superintendent Tim Simmons.
    The compactors on State Road A1A, Simmons says, are being emptied once every seven to 10 days, as is the compactor downtown. All are emptied with more frequency when there are special events.
    Reade estimates the reduction of staff time and fuel costs could result in an annual savings of at least $15,000.
    While the compactors run about $4,000-$4,500 each, when all is said and done, the city was able to get most of them with minimal cost to taxpayers, according to Butch Carter, government affairs manager for Waste Management, which serves as the distributor for the manufacturer, Big Belly Solar.
    Waste Management donated the first 10 compactors under an existing contract with the city.
The two on A1A and the one downtown were purchased using money returned to the city from recycling.
    From an aesthetic point of view, Carter says, the new compactors are helping to reduce the accumulation of trash around the cans and also minimize the odor, since the cans are fully enclosed, with a door users have to pull down in order to deposit trash.
    “These help keep the area around them from being unsightly,” Carter says. 

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of The Coastal Star to add comments!

Join The Coastal Star

Activity Feed

The Coastal Star posted a blog post
1 hour ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in BEACH WATCH
1 hour ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in OCEAN RIDGE
1 hour ago
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
1 hour ago
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
1 hour ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in BEACH WATCH
1 hour ago
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
1 hour ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in DELRAY BEACH
2 hours ago
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
2 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in GULF STREAM
2 hours ago
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
2 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in OCEAN RIDGE
2 hours ago
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
2 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in OCEAN RIDGE
2 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in DELRAY BEACH
2 hours ago
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
2 hours ago
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
2 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in DELRAY BEACH
2 hours ago
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
2 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in DELRAY BEACH
2 hours ago
More…