New York's getting 500 solar-powered food carts this summer

Street food is an celebrated (and inescapable) facet of New York City culture but many of those gas-fired mobile food stalls aren't exactly environmentally friendly. "I breathe it in, I get the fumes, I get the smell of the food," Don Ward, a Manhattan shoe shiner who works next to a cart, told the Wall Street Journal. "I get home and my clothing smells like gas." So to help combat air and noise pollution this summer, Queens-based MOVE Systems plans to distribute 500 "green" vendor carts. They'll be outfitted with solar panels and rechargeable batteries in addition to sinks, refrigerators and grills. The carts, dubbed MRV100 Hybrids, measure roughly 5 feet wide by 10 feet long and reportedly can be adapted to serve a wide variety of cuisine.

The program is funded entirely through donations and private partnerships and, as such, MOVE is offering the carts free of charge. 100 of the carts are already earmarked for disabled veterans. There's no immediate word, however, on how the 400 remaining carts will be distributed among the 3,000-plus permitted vendors operating in NYC. Either way, Meeks expects the carts to start rolling out by Memorial Day.