Where the Sun Don’t Shine
First, the good news. The CTA had the foresight to purchase a new Big Belly Solar Compactor. According to the BigBelly website, the new high-tech trash can is a:
“compacting trash receptacle that is completely self-powered. Instead of requiring a grid connection, BigBelly uses solar power for 100% of its energy needs. The unit takes up as much space as the "footprint" of an ordinary receptacle—but its capacity is five times greater. Increased capacity reduces collection trips and can cut fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by 80%. BigBelly also provides cost efficiencies from labor savings, fuel cost and maintenance savings, as well as environmental benefits from reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. Safe, easy to use, and designed to keep out pests, the BigBelly has already proven its worth in urban streets, parks, colleges, arenas—and in all weather conditions.”So far, so good, right? A spiffy-looking trash can, with a big fat solar panel on top, that will help keep stations cleaner and be environmentally friendly at the same time.
What could be wrong with that?
Well nothing, except for the fact that this solar-powered uber-trash can is located at the underground Red Line State/Lake subway station.
Sure, the Lake street station has been spiffed up, with more fluorescent lighting added in recent months, but someone should tell the CTA that the sun don’t shine 30 feet under the intersection of State and Lake.
Big Belly can, of course, be plugged in for indoor use.
Hat tip: David Naunton