by KYW’s Mike Dunn
You may have seen them around center city Philadelphia: those high-tech, solar powered trash compactors that Mayor Nutter says will help the environment and save the city money.
But perhaps not enough money, according the city controller.
City controller Alan Butkovitz has issued a report critical of the solar power trash can contract awarded by the Nutter administration to the manufacturer, a company called Big Belly Solar. Butkovitz says the administration didn’t do its homework and could have gotten a better deal with a distributor:
“There were other distributors, at least one specific other distributor of this same product who would have done it for manufacturer’s cost plus five percent. But doing a sole source, the manufacturer was able to do a 15-percent markup.”
Clarena Tolson, the city’s streets commissioner, had not yet seen Butkovitz’s report but says the controller’s office actually reviewed the contract and approved it before it was awarded.
Six hundred solar trash compactors have been installed around the city, mostly in center city.