The municipality of Alingsås, Sweden announced the installation of solar-powered and self-communicating smart bins. The units compress waste as it is thrown away, and notify when they are getting full. This way, the municipality will save on the number of collections and the barrels can be placed where they are most needed.
The latest generation of smart bins are both self-communicating and self-compacting. On the top are solar cells that harvest energy to drive the compaction and communication. When someone throws in garbage, the bin senses fullness and compresses the waste as needed. In addition, the bin sends out a message to the collectors about how full the bins are and if they need to be emptied.
“This means that you can see how frequently the bin is used. This makes it easier to find the perfect location for the smart, solar-powered compacting bins, the places where the high capacity is needed and where they are widely used. Because they are movable and have a GPS transmitter, we can easily customize where they stand. This way they are also perfect at different types of events,” says Åke Aronsson, the municipality’s project manager for infrastructure.
In addition to the fact that the bins will contribute to a cleaner environment thanks to garbage staying contained in the barrel, the smart sensor system also knows how full the bins are which leads to environmental savings.
“In Stockholm, they have several such containers and there they have saved collections. You do not have to go and empty the barrels that are not full,” continued Aronsson.
The new smart bins, which communicate with the municipality via a cloud-connected network, will be used in public places. At the moment one is located at Lilla Torget in Alingsås and another in Åmanska Park. Bigbelly, is the name of the smart bin, and – in addition to a cleaner public environment, more efficient waste management, lower costs and environmental gains – the solution can reduce waste collection by up to 80 percent.