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Councilwoman Donna Frye, speaking at a press conference this morning, unveiled San Diego’s first solar-powered trash compactor.

Provided for free by its manufacturer and installed at the Westfield Mission Valley Shopping Center, the receptacle will be able to crunch up to 40 pounds of rubbish, according to Frye’s office.

The councilwoman has said the machine will serve as a pilot program, to see whether replacing the trash bins in the city’s parks can save money and staff time by reducing the frequency with which they have to be emptied. Each machine would cost the city about $4,500. Frye’s office said the machines can operate even beneath an inch of snow.

“This project is exciting because it not only saves money, but it also saves energy, fits larger volumes of trash into our landfills and moves our region towards greater energy independence,” Frye said.

VLADIMIR KOGAN

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