Spokane installs high-tech trash and recycling containers downtown

Over the past week, the City of Spokane has been installing 40 new smart trash and recycling containers around downtown. The bins are connected to WIFI and can communicate with the city to tell them when they need to be emptied. Bob Hetnar who runs a hot dog stand downtown and thinks this improvement is much needed "they are drawing a fairly large quantity of attention," said Hetnar who now has these high tech bins right in front of his stand.

These new smart bins are also able to hold five times more trash than the old cans did. Out of the 40 trash containers, 21 have a recycling component. That's a plus for those trying to protect the environment. There's also a special place to empty your cigarette butts, so you don't just throw them on the ground "I think they are going to be pretty wonderful for downtown Spokane."

These high tech bins are not cheap especially with the electronic components they come with the containers. The total costs of the bins to $71,000 a year for all 40 and the city has committed to a five-year contract with the company that owns them. These bins will also cut back on people sifting through trash and keep it from blowing around "Anytime we had a major day or a parade it was an eyesore it overflowed on a regular basis plus the fact the old trash cans had to be emptied at least daily," said Hetnar

In the long run, Bob believes these new bins will pay off for the city "I do believe the compactor function will save money in the long run."