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WM to Distribute Solar-Powered Trash Compactors

solarcompactorsWaste Management Inc. (WM) has inked a deal to distribute BigBelly Solar’s solar-powered trash compactors, aimed at municipal governments and high-traffic facilities. The new service offering was announced at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Providence, Rhode Island.

Under the agreement, Houston, Tex.-based Waste Management becomes the exclusive waste and environmental services company distributor of the solar trash compactors in North America. Waste Management has installed 15 units at Patriot Place, a 1.3-million-square-foot retail, dining and event destination adjacent to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

The exclusive distribution deal is a big win for Needham, Mass.-based BigBelly Solar which was started a few years ago, reports CNET’s Green Tech Blog. The company raised an additional $3.2 million from undisclosed investors, according to a recent SEC filing.

About the same size as a standard 35-gallon trash barrel, the trash compactors are completely self-powered, using built-in solar panels to compact trash. A wireless system signals when the unit is ready to be picked up, which reduces collection costs, fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, says the company. The compactors also include receptacles for collecting plastic bottles, newspapers, glass and other recyclables.

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