Saturday, October 16, 2010

In Duluth solar-powered trash compactors and recycling bins to "green" Lakewalk

Caption ~ TOP - A ribbon cutting for the solar powered trash compactors at in Philadelphia (Photo from LOWER LEFT: Mayor Don Ness announces the addition of solar-powered trash compactors and recycling bins along the Lakewalk. (Photo by Rebecca Yaeger-Bischoff)

It saves money and the planet

By Rebecca Yaeger-Bischoff

Over 1 million people use Duluth’s Lakewalk each year, and all of those people using the Lakewalk can add up to a lot of trash. Recently the city received a grant that will help it reduce the volume of trash that needs to be carted to a landfill.

At a press conference on Sept. 30 Mayor Don Ness announced that starting this spring there will be solar-powered trash compactors and recycling bins along Duluth’s Lakewalk. The city plans to install 10 of each unit from Canal Park to Brighton Beach. This project is being funded by a $41,159 grant from the Department of Natural Resources Solar Legacy Grant Fund.

The new units will help the city improve the efficiency of waste pick-up by providing status updates via text message to the Park Maintenance Center. The trash compactors also can hold up to 5 times as much as waste the current bins. Reducing the number of times need to empty the trash containers will not only save the city money, but will also reduce CO2 emissions. The city will look into expanding the trash compactor and recycling units after the effectiveness of the Lakewalk units is determined. For more information about the solar-powered units visit

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