VSU Implements an Innovative New Approach to Eco-Friendly Waste Disposal

University goes green by adding self-sufficient solar-powered trash compactors with innovative features and environmental benefits.

Virginia State University has taken another step toward going green and expanding its effort for a cleaner campus. Fifty (50) new solar-powered trash compactors have been placed around campus ahead of the 2023 fall semester. Each unit can compact up to 150 gallons of trash, five times the capacity of current waste receptacles.

"The increased capacity of these solar compactors will have multiple eco-friendly benefits while reducing trash overflow to keep our campus clean," said Jane Harris, Associate Vice President of Facilities and Capital Outlay. "While they may look like a traditional trash can, these units are far GREATER than that and continue to showcase our mantra that Greater Happens Here."

In addition to supporting a greener environment, solar-powered compactors boast an essential safety feature. All units have a foot pedal to operate the door, eliminating the need to touch handles.

The units will also allow facilities staff to work more efficiently. They will have access to an online dashboard that reports the status of each unit and its location on campus and provides facilities personnel with collection information. A wireless monitoring system will notify them automatically when a compactor requires maintenance or needs to be emptied.

Colorfully wrapped with VSU branding, these innovative compactors are easy to spot and will supplement the current inventory of dumpsters and approximately 100 traditional trash bins. (photos attached)

In the past, VSU has been awarded a Tree Campus USA Award, which recognizes the university's commitment to its campus forest management and environmental stewardship.