During the week of March 11, 13 BigBelly solar-powered trash compactors and recycling units were added on Main Street near shops, restaurants and coffee houses.

The compactors have a computer chip that sends a message to Resource Recovery and Recycling Division staff when the units are in need of collection.

City officials said the BigBelly units are cost effective because they reduce overflow and decrease the number of times city workers need to drive out and empty them.

“The Big Belly also provides the opportunity to recycle on the public street, a component that was lacking,” said Kim Braun, Resource Recovery and Recycling manager for the city of Santa Monica.

The total cost of the BigBelly containers, which are two containers in one unit, is just under $100,000, which is approximately $3,845 per container. The new units will be replacing up to five existing concrete public litter containers, which cost approximately $1,100 to replace, Braun said.

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