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Solar-powered trash compactors installed in Kingston

Lydel Construction President Todd Smith (standing) and employee Mickey Jacob install one of six new solar trash compactors on State Route 104 in Kingston on Wednesday.  - Brad Camp/For the Herald
Lydel Construction President Todd Smith (standing) and employee Mickey Jacob install one of six new solar trash compactors on State Route 104 in Kingston on Wednesday.
— image credit: Brad Camp/For the Herald

KINGSTON — Six trash cans installed in downtown Kingston this week can squeeze money out of garbage.

The solar-powered, Big Belly trash compactors are among 80 Kitsap County has spread among its parks this spring. Volunteers from the Greater Kingston Community Chamber of Commerce will be maintaining the cans in downtown.

Each unit is equipped with a solar panel, which powers a built-in compactor that can reduce trash to about one-fourth of its original size. Because the cans can store more, they don’t need to be emptied as often, which will save the county — and Kingston Chamber — time and money.

The county expects to save up to $100,000 a year by using Big Belly cans said Eric Baker, special projects manager for the County Board of Commissioners.

The Big Belly compactors weigh about 300 pounds each and come with an equally imposing price tag — about $5,000 per unit installed. Kitsap County paid for the cans using federal stimulus money from the U.S. Department of Energy.

A final set of Big Belly compactors were installed on State Route 104 in Kingston on Wednesday.

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