Moving from Burlington, Vermont to Boston, Massachusetts meant a lot of change for me, the most immediately noticeable being more crowds, more tall buildings, and more startled close calls when trying to cross the busy streets. One small thing, though, was an abundance of these wherever I went:
They're Big Belly solar trash compactors, although being a simple country boy I didn't know this right away. Basically, they're public trash bins that compact the trash that the receive. They have a hatch on the front, a solar panel on top, and a few blinking lights to indicate readiness to receive trash.
The compactor collects all of its own energy for compaction, and it does so either rarely or silently; I've never heard one make any noise. The device was interesting, but at first I didn't understand what good it did-- after all, compacting the trash doesn't make any of it disappear.... read more