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Monday, July 15, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Solar-Powered Trash Cans Spark Rhubarb

PHILADELPHIA (CN) - A distributor of solar-powered trash cans claims the manufacturer went behind its back to sell 500 of the gizmos directly to the City of Philadelphia. The high-tech garbage cans compact trash and contain wireless devices that tell the streets department when the cans are full.

Tristate HVAC Equipment claims Big Belly Solar breached contract and tortiously interfered by cutting it out of the deal with Philadelphia. It says Big Belly sold 500 of the solar-powered garbage cans to the city, and the city announced plans to buy 1,500 more.

It costs the city $7 per month per can for wireless telephone charges, for the "Empty me; I'm full" calls, according to the complaint.

One Philadelphian told Courthouse News that the high-tech trash cans are "a great idea in theory ... but in practice they've been not so good."

"Among other issues, there is a handle which needs to be pulled in order to deposit any trash, and the handles are often literally dripping with God-knows-what," the man said. "As a result, the amount of trash on the sidewalks and the street has noticeably increased."

Tristate demands disgorgement of profits, damages and costs. It is represented in Federal Court by Anthony DiMarino III.

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