Jersey City to Install 100 Solar-Powered Garbage Cans Along the Waterfront

Jersey City will soon join dozens of other municipalities across the country and unveil its first-ever solar-powered garbage cans, after the City Council last week approved a contract with Waste Management to provide and install 100 photovoltaic trash compactors along the waterfront.

Although the resolution — and the $432,300 contract — raised eyebrows and led to some questions at the council’s caucus meeting, it turns out the project is already paid for via a federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG) that was funded by the federal stimulus package and announced in December 2009.

“These will reduce the number of trips required for trash pickups and make the pier look less messy on weekends,” assistant business administrator Greg Corrado says. “The project is fully grant funded through EECBG and the funds were specifically earmarked for this purpose.”

Waste Management says the solar-powered compactors can hold “up to five times” more garbage than a “typical” garbage can, which can eliminate 80 percent of garbage collection trips. In a video pitch to municipalities, the company says this can “dramatically lower labor costs, reduce fuel costs and reduce fuel emissions.”

Photo courtesy of Waste Management

Matt Hunger

is a former staff writer for the Jersey City Independent.