Think about how much trash goes into a bin in, say, New York City’s Times Square on a daily basis. What if all that garbage could be used to generate energy? That’s the thinking behind designer Haneum Lee’s Gaon Street Light – a lamppost powered by garbage!

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Lee’s lamppost features a trash can at its base. Pedestrians toss their old food products inside, where they are composted. Methane from the compost is used to power the lamp, and the entire process begins again.

It’s an interesting concept, but we see a few problems with it. How much trash would be needed to keep the lamp turned on? And what happens when the inevitable pedestrian throws regular trash into the food waste bin? The Gaon Street Light would undoubtedly work best in areas with heavy foot traffic, but those are the places where people are most likely to toss their regular trash into the wrong bin. Still, Lee’s idea is promising, and at the very least, compost waste may one day be able to partially power our street lights.

Via Yanko Design