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OKLAHOMA CITY – Recycling stations across the metro are getting a makeover.

The ‘Big belly recycling stations’ use a solar-powered compactor to allow the station to hold up to five times more trash than a typical can of the same size.

“The sun powers the mechanism, that uses a sensor, that lets it know how full the trash can is,” T.O. Bowman, with the City  of Oklahoma City, said.

Once the station is full, an email will be sent to Downtown OKC Inc. Clean Team.

Officials say five recycling stations will be installed this week to decrease trash on the streets.

“It will allow us to have a higher level of customer service and be able to respond to those, so we don’t have the over-spilling trash cans and that embarrassing situation,” Bowman said.

Each one of the compacting recycling stations costs almost $5,000.

Organizers say it’s an investment that will shrink Oklahoma City’s carbon footprint.

“You know, the stations, as you can expect, are a little more expensive than a traditional trash can, so we wanted to make sure it’s something that’s worth the investment and we believe it is,” Bowman said.

The Department of Environmental Quality, along with the City of Oklahoma City and Downtown OKC, paid for these high-tech trash cans to help what they see is a problem downtown.

“We thought it was especially important for the public image of the city,” Fenton Rood, with the Department of Environmental Quality, said.

It also helps local companies that rely on recycled materials to make their products.

The stations are located near N.W. 5th and Robinson, N.W. 5th and Harvey, and Mickey Mantle Dr.and E. Sheridan Ave. in Bricktown.

The stations can also be found at the DEQ headquarters, Cox Convention Center, Chesapeake Energy Arena, Chickasha Bricktown Ballpark, Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library and the Downtown Transit Center.

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