The city hopes to replace some of its trash cans with trash solar trash compactors in time for the Super Bowl.
"We're looking at about 242 solar-powered cans in the French Quarters, Canal Street and Convention Center Boulevard. There's a few, even, on Frenchmen Street," says Acting Director of Sanitation, Cynthia Sylvain-Lear.
The city is seeking bids now to provide the devices to be placed in those areas with heavy foot traffic.
Bids are due January 3rd, and the city hopes to have the first 150 installed by February 1.
Initially, they'll be placed on Canal Street and Convention Center Boulevard.
"They'll have recycling components to them, not only litter collection," says Sylvain-Lear.
The French Quarters have a large number of cans, so that's going to take us a little bit more time to get them all installed."
She says the solar compactors will cut down on truck traffic in the Quarter, compacting the litter periodically, based on the fullness of the can.
"It can hold a lot more than the regular public litter cans, so that you don't need to make collections as often."
Smart technology sensors will notify the city when containers need to be emptied. A recent test of two solar compactors in the French Quarter cut the number of collections from 14 a week to three-and-a-half.
They're completely closed systems, so rainwater and rats can't get inside. And, Sylvain-Lear says they'll also eliminate odors and scavenging.
The city is requiring the winning contractor to provide compactors designed to withstand 75 mph winds and 2 feet of water.
The devices have been approved by the Vieux Carre Commission.
The cans they replace will be relocated to other areas in the city.
"We really want to see this installed in time for the Super Bowl and for Mardi Gras," Sylvain-Lear says. "So we're working as hard as we can to speed through the process."
She says "utilizing any technology available will benefit all of us and improve the quality of life in the City of New Orleans."