UC Merced installs solar-powered waste and recycling systems

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UC Merced showed off its "big belly" on Thursday as part of its latest effort to reduce the university's carbon footprint. (KFSN)

UC Merced showed off its Big Belly on Thursday as part of its latest effort to reduce the university's carbon footprint.

The campus has now installed new solar-powered waste and recycling systems. Raccoons had been going through the trash, which was frequently overflowing. But these Big Belly systems use solar power to compact recyclables and eventually alert staff when they need to be emptied.

"We found these solar compacting containers that compress materials, there's less pickup, so we have a labor savings," said Matthew Hirota. "They look raccoon-proof, so we'll have less problems with that as well. And they also are able to let us know when they're full, so we only need to pick up when they are full."

The system also includes a compost container. The university hopes to have zero waste by 2020.


Related Topics:
newsenvironmentsolar energytrashrecyclingeducationmerced countyU.C. MercedMerced
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