Are solar trash bins just garbage overkill? Who thought this out?

Oh boy – yesterday, new solar trash receptacles were installed at Pier A Park. Talk about lavishly spending your already excessive tax money on crazy contraptions like this is proof we have a government that needs to go. Like yesterday. Hoboken411 received quite a few emails about this already and resident Paul was the most vocal about it.

Solar trash receptacles at Pier A Park in Hoboken NJ

Letter: Hoboken ignores details to usher low bidder out of town

Paul writes: “It seems like the City’s trash can vendor is getting an early Christmas present as the city has begun installing trash cans every 25 feet down the length of pier A park. Since there is a correlation between what the city spends and what the vendor makes we seem to have gotten expensive solar powered trash cans rather than the metal baskets that are used in the remainder of the city.

Solar Trash Bins in Hoboken NJ excessive waste of moneyAs we learned with the custom designed playground equipment that was flown in from Germany for Church Square Park, money is no object and the ordinary simply will not meet the city’s price point. (Ordinary stuff is not expensive enough).

Recycling is a great idea but much of the plastic that goes into the recycling bins in the park will probably be plastic bags and plastic wrappers.

The city’s recycling vendor does not take bags or wrappers. In fact, the vendor charges the city a fine based on the weight of all the bags and wrappers that people put into the recycling bins. The city went to “single stream recycling” to get rid of Gary Giordano at Galaxy Recycling who was the lowest bidder for the contract but does not have the special equipment to sort co-mingled single stream recyclables. They do not care if less of what you put out on the curb actually gets recycled and they don’t care if the total cost (cost with the fines) is higher than Galaxy.

Running the city is all about details and these guys have no interest in details.”

Big Belly Solar Trash Compactor costs 10 thousand dollars in Hoboken NJ

Prediction: Solar trash bins in Hoboken will be huge failure

Paul also mentioned a very valid point, that the bins (which cost upwards of $10,000 per pair of “solar compactors”) are supposed to hold FIVE times the amount of a similar can without the solar doo-hickey.

Which is supposed to mean that you need SUBSTANTIALLY LESS of them. So what the city should explain in full detail is WHY there are so many MORE cans now than ever!? The entire park is filled to the brim with them! How attractive! Did the vendor hand an “envelope” under the table to Mayor Zimmer for this excessive purchase? Inquiring minds want to know.

Some other observations:

  • The solar vendor claims these contraptions are practically maintenance-free, needing “only oil” once per year. Why don’t you try and sell us a bridge too?
  • What will certainly happen is that these things will break (mark my words) and require years of ongoing expenses to the property taxpayers.
  • And what about vandalism? Didn’t think about that did you? What if someone spray paints the solar panel? Smashes them with bricks? Another added cost. They’ll end up in a recycling pile like R2D2 did in Star Wars.
  • Those metal mesh bins were just fine. Cheap, easily maintained, and replaceable for a minimal cost (what, $20 a can?) Imagine how many the city could have received for the 100′s of thousands they spent on the high-tech bins?

Bottom line – the city is circling the drain. You just haven’t realized it yet. That time will come.

Old trash bins at Pier A Park in Hoboken NJ were perfectly fine

Hoboken NJ

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