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01/17/2023 03:17 PM

More Solar Powered Trashcans Coming to the Green

More solar-powered trash cans are on the way for the Guilford Town Green, thanks, in part, to the continued efforts of several local realtors.

The new cans are expected to be installed at every entrance/exit point on the Green, and they will join the seven solar cans already present.

The first two solar-powered cans were installed in 2019 after two realtors began looking for ways they could solve the problem of overflowing garbage cans during the summer months. According to Kathy Mitchell, a realtor with William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, Coldwell Banker’s Kathleen Moniello, spearheaded the initial effort.

“It was really kind of Kathleen’s brainchild. She had shared with me and a few other brokers on the Green, that, particularly in the summer when there are more people around the Green, the garbage cans were constantly overflowing and drawing insects,” said Mitchell. “When Kathy saw this, it kind of bugged her, and [she] did some research and found this Big Belly company. When she called me, I knew them well because we have these cans in Madison; they are right outside our office, so it seemed like the perfect solution.”

Mitchell said that Moniello took to asking other local realtors and nearby businesses to jump on board with the project and help fundraise to get the first can operating on the Town Green.

“Each company donated money, and together we reached out to local merchants, so collectively, between the realtors and the merchants, we got enough to spearhead the project,” said Mitchell.

Nearly four years later and home to seven Big Belly trash cans, the Green is set to receive between 12 to 24 more by spring. According to First Selectman Matt Hoey, the cans operate on solar power and auto-compact refuse. As their name implies, they allow for a significantly larger capacity than ordinary trash cans.

“The original one was recommended by and paid for by Kathy Moniello and Kathy Mitchell and their respective companies, and they were the genesis of this effort of cleaning up,” Hoey said. “Certainly, the bees and the smell were becoming an issue for some, and this idea has really been a great way to address this. With the new cans, we don’t expect to see significant challenges with overflow now.”

According to Hoey, the town, in cooperation with the Guilford Green Committee (GGC), will install the new cans on every sidewalk entrance and exit to the Green, but the installation will need to wait for warmer weather.

“The installation does require a concrete pad, so we think that we will have this completed sometime this spring,” said Hoey.

Mitchell said the collaboration between local businesses and Town Hall was a productive experience that resulted in a true benefit for residents.

“I think that what was so wonderful is that when we presented the issue to [First Selectman] Matt [Hoey] and to [Parks and Recreation Director] Rick Maynard, they really got behind us. It was so nice that they were so supportive of it. And to see them installed, and to see it’s successful in that there is far less trash around the Green is the proof that it was worth it and is working,” Mitchell said. “We all take a lot of pride in our community and like to do something to beautify our Green even further. It really was a successful undertaking.”