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Give us solar bins -- a bright idea for the city

DUBLIN City Council has been called on to follow the example of Trinity College by replacing its old-fashioned dustbins with new eco-friendly models.

In 2008, Trinity installed the country's first solar-powered bins which compact collected waste using the power of the sun.

The patented Big Belly solar bins can store five times as much rubbish as the conventional containers by using the sun's energy to automatically compact trash.

Each bin has a 12v rechargeable battery which runs the compactor motor and requires just four hours of daylight to remain in operation for 28 days.

Trinity College installed 10 of the bins around the campus, saying it was another example of the university as a leader in waste management.

Now Fine Gael's Eoghan Murphy has called on the council's environment committee to support "the introduction of free-standing solar compactor bins in the city centre".

It should be "one of the city's waste management priorities", he stated in a motion.

Cllr Murphy also requested the committee to ask "the relevant authority or manufacturer be contacted and asked to make a presentation to the committee at its next meeting".

He added: "Solar compactor bins are already in use on the campus of Trinity College. They have up to eight times the capacity of traditional bins but with the same footprint. The increased capacity reduces the frequency of emptying, resulting in savings on collection trips."

The councillor pointed out: "Smart technology notifies collectors when individual bins have reached capacity, meaning no unsightly overflowing bins or wasted collection trips.

"And the compacting of waste at the point of collection is better for the environment."