The Smart Waste & Recycling Solution

Viborg, Denmark

Project Description

Case Study: City of Viborg, Denmark


The City of Viborg was one of two Danish cities to conduct highly detailed analysis of the Bigbelly solution and its impact on collection operations. The following are excerpts from an independent report on the impact of the Bigbelly solution:


  • The garbage bin has been well received by the public and there has been a reduction in emptyings and less waste on the ground.
  • Many Danish municipalities will have large savings by setting up the new interactive garbage bins.
  • Use of fewer resources has been demonstrated by deploying the interactive bins and thus time has been freed up for other tasks.

Methodology & Results:

Three measurements are carried out in the evaluation process; a baseline measurement in august 2011, an interim measurement after implementation (February 2012) and a final measurement after approx. a half years’ use of the technology (May 2012). The timing of the measurements has been made so that there are no major seasonal variations, while also being done when there are no large-scale events, etc. that can affect the degree of load within the areas and hence the amount of waste.

In Viborg municipality where garbage bins are located in a restricted area (train station), there is a clear reduction in the time required both for unloading and manual collection.


  • All the old rubbish bins by the platforms and along the shop are removed.
  • From the first day these garbage bins have been put into operation, there has been a shift in work process, allowing employee responsible for emptying the garbage bins to come only once a week instead of three.
  • The new waste bins are emptied only when they indicate that they are full.

The installation of the garbage bins has reduced the frequency of emptyings and this means there is less need for manual collection of waste. For both employees and citizens, installation of new waste bins meant visibly cleaner urban spaces. This is because it’s more fun to throw waste in garbage bins and thus, more garbage ends in the trash. Because the waste basket is a closed basket, this also makes it impossible for the birds to retrieve waste from the basket, this resulting in waste in the street space.

Emptying Collection Sweeping Driving Total
Before 452.25 min/week 562.53 min/week 270 min/week 360 min/week 1.038 FTE
After 97.87 min/week 3.45 min/week 90 min/week 18 min/week .118 FTE

Recommended Best Practices:

It can be difficult to change the workflow. Focus must be placed on changing the work processes and the Management Department must have the will to reduce the number of emptying days.

The change in the work culture in the workplace is important for the success, as it is important for the employees to stop doing what they did before, for example, empty the full garbage bins (yellow/red) versus empty them every day.

In case of the new garbage bins, the old ones must be removed in order to save any resources. The distance between the garbage bins should be as short as possible in order to ensure that the waste is not thrown on the ground.

There must exist a management focus that involves the employee in the introduction of new technology, and change their culture to make it as usual. The project’s success is connected to the change of culture in the workplace and a showdown with the “we usually do”, “how we’ve always done.”

For the complete report on the Bigbelly analysis for the Cities of Viborg and Næstved, you can download the original report in Danish or the English translation.

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