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Soldotna parks to see solar-powered trash compactors

Posted: October 6, 2013 - 7:59pm
The City of Soldotna purchased 10 solar-powered trash compactors. This one is stationed outside the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. Photo by Kaylee Osowski/Peninsula Clarion
The City of Soldotna purchased 10 solar-powered trash compactors. This one is stationed outside the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. Photo by Kaylee Osowski/Peninsula Clarion

City of Soldotna employees are going to be receiving texts from trash soon.

To cut the amount of time city employees spend collecting trash from parks and recreation facilities, the city has purchased solar-powered trash bins.

So far one BigBelly Solar trash compactor bin has been set up outside the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

The other nine solar bins, which are also bear proof, will be dispersed throughout the city’s parks next summer.

The trash cans have a solar panel on top of the bin that powers the internal compactor to squish down garbage. The trash cans text city employees when they are full and need to be emptied.

Parks and Recreation Director Andrew Carmichael said the BigBelly Solar bins will free up seasonal employees so they have more time to work on other tasks.

The Soldotna City Council unanimously adopted a resolution at its July 24 meeting to execute a contract for $45,000 with WAXIE Sanitary Supply Corporation to purchase the ten solar-powered trash bins. Carmichael said the ten bins will give the city an idea of how well they work, and from there the city can consider whether or not to purchase additional bins.

Carmichael contacted officials from the City of Philadelphia to see what effects the garbage cans had on the number of collections it was doing. He said Philadelphia went from collecting trash 17 times per week to three where the bins were placed.

At fishing areas, the trash will still likely have to be emptied daily, Carmichael said.

Carmichael said the cans should especially helpful in parks where kids’ parties are popular. At the end of a summer birthday party, decorations, table clothes and other supplies can entirely fill a trash can.

“At one point this summer, we were (collecting trash) four times in a day,” Carmichael said.

He said the solar cans will prove more helpful in the summer as the parks see more use in those months.

This past July, Soldotna park goers may have noticed new bear-proof trash bins provided through Alaska Waste at Soldotna Creek Park, Centennial Park, Rotary Park, Swiftwater Park and the Soldotna Visitor Center.

Carmichael said the bear-proof trash bins increase park user safety and are working well so far, except for one that “got beat up be a bear.”

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at

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Watchman on the Wall
Watchman on the Wall 10/06/13 - 11:05 pm

You can't make this stuff

You can't make this stuff up folks. Governments stupidity for WASTE of money has no bounds here in the soon to be very dark and cold far north.
Do they have electric backups and how long are the cords?
Ha, Ha, ha. CMEO, crying my eyes out. Because we encourage and allow it to continue non-stop, now to the tune of $16.6 TRILLION National debt for stuff like this.

jw99669 10/08/13 - 06:37 am

I wonder how drunk Carmichael

I wonder how drunk Carmichael was when he decided this was a good idea. How this guy still has a job is beyond me. $45k for trash cans...unreal.

BigRedDog 10/08/13 - 08:39 am

Put it on a spinner

I have a buddy that uses the green plastic bear proof trashcans. He has 3 of them and has made them BEAR PROOF! He has a cable strung between two trees 15' apart, that he runs through the hinges of the trash can lids. This holds the cans upright and allows them to spin on the cable. The bear cannot get them on the ground and pound them flat opening them for his prize. But he can hit them real hard and spin them on the cable which then sends the can back over the top and clubs the bear. They do not like that!
But for $4500 each why don't they put in cans so big they won't need emptied for a WEEK! That's the way to save money on collection! Any questions?

Suss 10/08/13 - 11:11 am

Smart trash, I like it.

What is not to like? These may pay for themselves after a couple of years.

BigRedDog 10/09/13 - 06:20 am

Who is paying for them now!

I'm sure the manufacturer won't just let us have these cans for a couple of years until they can pay for themselves! This is as real as things get, you pay $4500 for those trash cans and I'll be on the band wagon coming to take your JOB! You cannot put $4500 WORTH of technology into a trash can! There is SO much fluff in that billing, to charge that much for a trash can is ROCKET science! And $4500 a copy, what you gonna do when one of them BREAKS down?

BigRedDog 10/10/13 - 08:08 am

Woolaroc Museum's Bison

I would support a $4500 trash can like the one at Oklahoma's Woolaroc Museum. The first thing you notice when approaching the area served by this trash can is how clean it is and every child present is policing the area for trash. Then you see the reason these children are so busy. Randy the full size mount Bison is standing in a small corral like setting. He is backed against a wall and his mouth is open. There is a 4 or 5" pipe connected to Randy's mouth and a big vacuum behind the wall.
When you press the button on the gate Randy starts talking as the vacuum comes on and sucks that cola can with ease. He can empty a bag of popcorn in short order and likes the bag to. If you are careless enough to drop a napkin it might hit the ground but it won't bounce or blow far even in a wind! All those young visitors pounce on ANY trash for Randy to eat. The voice comes on and says, " my name is Randy, and I am hungry. I really love soda cans and any other trash from your picnic will be very welcome. Just push the button and hold your trash in an open palm to Randy's lips.
A pop can will jump 4" into the powerful vacuum and it is very hard slow Randy down. But the main thing I loved about Randy's feeding zone was very clean. And unlike Yellowstone there were no college kids walking around sweeping up all the tid-bits of garbage, the visitors kept it neat.

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