Can high tech trash cans protect bears in Gatlinburg?

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Gatlinburg garbage is getting a $138,000 upgrade with new trash cans that are meant to help keep the city cleaner, safer and more efficient.

The Big Belly Solar trash can are solar powered bins and they can hold up to three to four times more trash than a normal trash can, and the City of Gatlinburg has been giving the receptacles a trial run.

With that kind of capacity, officials hope it can reduce traffic jams in the area. "Sometimes, the Parkway can be congested with heavy traffic and so when you are running a garbage truck up and down the Parkway three to four times a day, it can cause a traffic back up," said one woman.

The city hopes that the 22 new trash cans will relieve the problem.

Not only will the new receptacles reduce the trips, they will make matters more efficient by alerting the sanitation department with a signal when each individual trash can is full.

The trash cans will help city life and wildlife. The bins lock when full and don't let animals inside.

You can see the new trash cans being installed on the Parkway between Mountain Mall and the Convention Center.

However, upgrades don't come without a price. The city says it will cost more than $138,000 to rent the trash cans for five years.