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Dump goes green 

The Paso Robles Waste Facility is going green where it can. Management there recently completed a project to add 156 solar panels, covering the facility’s entire roof.

The panels will provide more than 90 percent of the facility’s power. Facility management lamented not being able to reduce the 500 gallons of diesel that garbage trucks burn each day, but the solar project is a step toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“We want to serve the community of Paso Robles for a long time,” facility President Dale Gomer said in a news release. “You have to invest in your future and this was one major step for us.”

It took about four months for Solarponics, based in Atascadero, to design and install the system.

“During the summer, the solar energy will actually generate more power than they will need,” Natlie Vara of Solarponics said in a news release. She added that the surplus energy is sent back to the grid for neighbors to use. “So it’s a win-win situation.”

Even with the initial cost, Vara explained that the facility would pay less per month for its solar-generated power than it would with PG&E.

“Solar just makes sense for people with larger electric bills,” she said. “And it makes green sense for everyone.”

The panels are expected to last 50 years.

—Colin Rigley

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