Talking (Smart) Trash: Solar-Powered Trash Cans Hit DTLA


First it was solar-powered parking meters, now it’s solar powered trash (no one could accuse us of failing to utilize L.A.’s ample sunny weather): 16 new “BigBelly” trash bins have been installed along 7th Street downtown between Figueroa and Olive Streets, otherwise known as the busiest east-west pedestrian stretch in the whole of DTLA, with two more to come.

The $2,000-a-pop “smart” cans won’t cause the trash to bake (read: reek). The technology is used to power GPS units and usage meters that alert the Downtown Center Business Improvement District (DCBID) when each eye-catching purple receptacle is one-third or two-thirds full.

“Walking around the District I noticed the trashcans were unsightly — there’d be tied bags of trash just sitting on the street awaiting pickup,” DCBID’s Suzanne Holley told LA Downtown News. The hope is that the colorful bins will reduce litter—and prevent L.A.’s streets from turning into New York’s:

Trash in NYC.
Trash in NYC.

Photograph courtesy flickr/apasciuto