Ole Miss trash cans have gone high tech. The university is home to new solar-powered, network-connected trash cans that communicate with one another and will let you know when they are full. But they come at a cost.
According to The Daily Mississippian, the BigBelly garbage cans cost $4,560 per unit. The school is renting them through a five-year lease. They are currently paying $1,900 per month for 25 trash cans. If the university purchased them individually, they would cost $4,000 per unit, about $500 less than the current costs.
A 36-gallon Global Industrial garbage can, similar to most found on campus, retails for under $500. Supporters say the benefits outweigh the cost.
Because the new garbage cans communicate with each other, work crews can spend less time on collections by avoiding bins that are not yet full. According to a BigBelly rep, this will reduce collections by about 80 percent.
This would lead to a reduction in the amount of motorized golf carts used on campus, and by extension, a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. At least according to a study by graduate students at the University of Washington.
For now, Ole Miss is in a five-year trial period. If the university sees a benefit, it can continue with the lease program or purchase the cans.
Of course purchasing the cans after the lease would more than double the original cost. Seems like a steep price to introduce “techie trash cans” to Ole Miss so that the air quality can be improved. We’ve never seen any studies warning of us of the poor air quality in Oxford. Then again, it’s hard to put a value on virtue signaling.
Beware of a future “improved air quality” student fee.