Tyler installed three Big Belly trash receptacles downtown to test if they help make trash pickup more efficient.

The new receptacles are solar-powered, high tech trash compacting containers that will communicate with Tyler's Solid Waste Department and notify them when the container needs to be emptied. This will allow for containers to be emptied before they become overflow. It will also eliminate a trip to empty a container that is not full. Information on how full the container is, how many times it is emptied and other operational data will be transmitted to the office via email.

"With these containers, we will be able to manage trash in the downtown area more efficiently," City Manager Ed Broussard said. "Not only will we be able to respond to full trash receptacles, but we will not be making unnecessary trips to empty containers that do not need emptying."

Broussard said that the three containers are a pilot to see if the city should replace all the traditional open top trash cans.

They are installed along the south side of the square on east Erwin Street near Gallery Main Street, near Liberty Hall and one at the east end of the block near Don Juan's on the Square.

Each container has the same general "footprint" as a standard 35-gallon, open top container. However, with the compacting function, the new containers will hold up to 150 gallons of trash, thus eliminating the need for more receptacles.

Using a closable door, the containers will also keep animals from foraging inside and keep the wind from blowing trash out.

They also come with a built-in ashtray to encourage smokers to not drop their cigarette butts on the ground.

If these prove to be popular and efficient, Tyler will see more put into service.

- Jenny Wells is a senior public relations specialist for the city of Tyler.


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