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In an effort to keep regular garbage cans from overflowing in public areas – and to reduce the city's trash bill – city workers have installed two new trash and recycling bin units that are solar-powered to automatically compact trash.

The units, called BigBelly Solar units, also are equipped with wireless technology that automatically notify Laurel public works staff when they need to be emptied, city officials said.

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The BigBelly Solar units were installed in front of the Main Street post office and at the lakehouse in Granville Gude Park, according to information released by the city. Each unit is a recycling bin and a trash bin, which are bolted together.

The public-area recycling bins are part of the city's efforts to expand recycling in public places. With more recyclable items deposited in recycling bins instead of trash bin, the city pays for less waste tonnage, city officials said.

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