Solar-powered rubbish bins that compact their own litter recently went on trial in the UK, indicating the industry could be set for a breakthrough in Australia.
BigBelly bins, a US brand, use the power of the sun to compress rubbish, allowing them to hold eight times more content than a regular bin.
The revolutionary technology means council workers need to empty them less often, dramatically reducing the carbon footprint of waste collections.
Once the bin is 85% full, it sends out a wireless signal alerting council staff that it needs to be emptied.
The bins, which can hold 800 litres of waste, use a compaction mechanism to exert force on the rubbish. The mechanism uses no hydraulic fluids and runs on a standard 12-volt battery, which is charged by the solar panel.
Bob Carter of Cambridge City Council says the bins only need a small amount of daylight to operate, stating: “The bin literally gets filled to a certain level and then a sensor cuts in and crushes the rubbish.”
What other areas could solar-powered technology power in order to change our everyday lives?