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August 17, 2009

Waste Management along with the Illinois State Fair, IDNR and IEPA Unveils Solar Powered Trash Compactor on the Illinois State Fairgrounds
New green trash bin saves money and turns public spaces into clean eco-friendly zones

SPRINGFIELD - Waste Management (WM) today joined with the Illinois State Fair, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to unveil a new WM Solar Powered Trash Compactor at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. WM and the agencies co-sponsor an exhibit at the fair to educate the public about the benefits of recycling.

The new green bin, which compacts garbage using power generated from built-in solar panels, can hold five times the amount of garbage as a traditional bin, reducing, costs, vehicle trips, fuel usage and truck emissions associated with frequent trash collection.

“We know ordinary trash bins can overflow, particularly at major events like the Fair,” said Steve Batchelor, market area manager for Waste Management in Illinois and Indiana.  “The new Waste Management Solar Powered Trash Compactor can help the Fair reduce litter while also lowering waste collection frequency and its associated expenses and environmental impact. We hope this demonstration unit shows the public how simply and effectively such units can improve our public spaces, while furthering our commitment to environmental stewardship and protection.”

The unit, which includes both recycling and waste containers, was placed at the corner of Brian Raney Avenue and Main Street, outside of the Governor’s Tent.  The site was chosen because of its high traffic, making it a great place to demonstrate its ability to reduce litter and cut the frequency and cost of trash collection.

“We are thrilled to be able to try out this new technology, said Illinois State Fair Manager, Amy Bliefnick. “The Illinois State Fair is doing its part to go green this year with a number of different sustainability initiatives. This solar powered trash compactor is a fantastic green addition to the fairgrounds.”

“This is just another example of making the Illinois State Fairgrounds a greener place,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller.  “Using our natural resources to conserve energy and waste not only saves the environment but also saves money.”

“I commend Waste Management for providing this Solar Powered Trash Compactor that is doubly green---it uses a renewable, environmentally friendly power source and compacts the waste so it can be handled more efficiently,” said Doug Scott, Illinois EPA Director.

WM Solar Powered Trash Compactors are completely self-powered, using built-in solar panels to compact trash. About the same size as a standard 35-gallon trash barrel, each compactor provides five times the capacity of a traditional trash receptacle. When the unit reaches capacity, sensors trigger an internal compactor that flattens the contents, compressing 180 gallons of waste into easy-to-collect bags. A wireless system then signals that the unit is ready to be picked up.  This cuts the need for trash pickup by up to 80 percent, which can reduce collection costs, fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions. The unit also includes a receptacle for collecting plastic bottles, newspapers, glass and other recyclables.


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