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A Solar Powered Trash Bin Appears in Long Beach

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Trash cans need power? Well, Long Beach, which wants to be the greenest city in the country, has an idea, and if successful, they might be onto something. The first of three solar trash cans appeared in downtown Long Beach, officials announced Wednesday.

It's part of a pilot project by the city, which wants to see if the cans are worth investing in for high traffic areas. With the city planning to reduce trash collection amid a budget deficit, these cans that will compact trash on their own, meaning trash collectors will have to come by less often.

Here's how they work. "When the container is full, sensors trigger the compactor, flattening the 180 gallons of trash into easy-to-manage bags," explains a Long Beach news release. "The green light on the compactor turns from green to yellow and a signal is then transmitted wirelessly, letting the collectors know the unit is full and ready to be picked up. Each compactor, about the size of a 35-gallon trash barrel, also has a receptacles area for recyclable materials including newspaper, glass, bottles and plastic."

Locations include 200 block of Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach; 2nd Street and Argonne Avenue in Belmont Shore; and Atlantic Avenue and Carson Street in Bixby Knolls.