You would think this title refers to the city full of belly fattening, but oh-so-good, foods like cheesesteaks (my vote is Tony Luke’s and apparently Marc Summers’ vote also since I sat one table from him two Sunday’s ago), cannoli’s and soft pretzels… but you would be wrong.

A article yesterday boasted Philadelphia as having the largest implementation of BigBelly solar trash compactors which in turn will reduce trash collection trips by 75%. The city estimates it will produce a savings of $875K per year with the 500 compactors purchased by state grant monies to help reduce the $1.4 billion, five-year budget deficit.

Others have instituted these compactors but not nearly in the numbers as Philadelphia and whole collection routes. As I read through the article, I thought to myself “well if this reduces collection rounds I hope they didn’t overlook what happens to the employees!” Philadelphia has their total cost of ownership covered. The change in collection frequency helps 25 streets department employees fill household recycling truck vacancies as said by Streets Commissioner Clarena Tolson. Also, in Sommerville, MA the targeted approach of placing these compactors in densely packed areas has freed up workers to repair pot holes, trim trees and fix playground equipment according to Michael Lambert, director of transportation and infrastructure.

BigBelly Solar, based in Needham, MA is really on to something when cities are looking to reduce their deficits and spend less as a whole without having to lay off workers. Way to go Philly! Mmmm, now I want another cheesesteak hoagie wit whiz.
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Tina Lamanna

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  1. You might be interested in the recently-implemented "One Plus One" program in Baltimore city. Here's the ABC new story: