Notice new 'smart' trash cans in South Baltimore? They're part of a citywide upgrade

Baltimore’s public trash cans are getting an upgrade.

The city’s first Smart Cans, solar-powered trash compactors that tell sanitation employees when they’re ready to be emptied, arrived on sidewalks this week, Mayor Catherine E. Pugh announced Monday.

The Casino Local Development Council donated $300,000 for first 64 cans in South Baltimore; the next wave, to be installed in the city’s business districts, will be paid for with $900,000 from the Maryland Port Administration. The first trash cans are being placed at Washington Boulevard, in Ridgely’s Delight, Cherry Hill and Westport, and along Light, Charles, and Hanover streets in South Baltimore.

“Baltimore needs to get smarter about trash, and these Smart Cans are a big part of the solution,” Pugh said in a statement.

The new trash cans confine litter better and help keep out rodents, and sensors in the cans transmit data to the Department of Public Works, so supervisors can better schedule pickups as needed, Pugh said. They are opened with a foot pedal, allowing people to use them without getting germs on their hands. Some of the cans will have recycling bins, separate from the trash compactors.

Ecube Labs, a South Korean company that makes the cans, won a competitive bid for the contract, Pugh said.

The city plans to use the South Baltimore program as a pilot to inform how best to roll out the Smart Cans to other business districts and bus stops “in subsequent phases,” the mayor said.

“I’m thankful to our partners in the Casino Local Development Council and the Maryland Port Administration for providing the funding for these cans, and I’m thrilled for our neighbors and businesses that will benefit from them,” Pugh said.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

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