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Think Green

Entrepreneurs are turning environmental problems into opportunities.

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This story appears in the March 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Walk past a BigBelly trash can on the street, and you might not immediately notice a difference between it and a typical garbage receptacle. Wait around a while, though, and you'll notice.

The BigBelly works just like any other public trash can, only it uses solar energy to automatically compress trash when the can gets too full, thus reducing the volume of waste. "Most important, it reduces the collection frequency," notes BigBelly inventor James Poss, who counts the borough of Queens in New York City and the U.S. Forest Service among his clients. That means fewer diesel-burning garbage trucks on the road--and a drastic decrease in the estimated 1 billion gallons of fuel burned by garbage trucks every year.

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