Gracie Romanchuk

Gracie Romanchuk

Trail tests solar-panel compactor

Trail is following Rossland’s lead and looking to the sun to reduce its carbon footprint, at least on a temporary basis.

Trail is following Rossland’s lead and looking to the sun to reduce its carbon footprint, at least on a temporary basis.

Through Cultured Cow, the city has received one Big Belly solar refuse compactor for Gyro Park for a one-month trial period until July 29.

The bin that’s decorated with a historical photo of the Trail park, uses renewable power and information technology to lower the operating costs, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste collection.

Public works manager Larry Abenante emptied the bin Monday, when he noticed the device read that it was full and was surprised to learn that the bin only held about 30 pounds of compacted waste. He now wonders whether the bin is the right choice for Gyro Park.

“We’re not getting a real read on these because we only have one,” he admitted. “To do it properly, the whole property should be equipped with these.”

Though the compactor reduces the labour cost associated with managing waste, the initial cost would work out to about $63,000 ($3,500 each) to stock Gyro Park. Abenante also acknowledged that the garbage is emptied daily during the summer by Career Development Services, which runs the concession.

“If I have to do 18 of them in the park, that’s a huge capital expenditure,” he said.

Trail will soon replace the remaining four concrete cans in the park, which continue to attract animals.

The city is using the $15,000 it received from Teck, following a restorative justice agreement in relation to a mercury spill, to purchase a total of five new bear-proof bins and one bear-proof communal bin like the one that is located in the city’s public works yard.