The Great Ocean Road to Smarter Waste Management in Australia

This is a republication of an article by Leon Hayes, Founder & CEO at Solar Bins Australia, Bigbelly’s official international distribution partner. Original publication can be found here. Enjoy!

Recently we had the pleasure and privilege to deploy our Bigbelly Solar smart waste management solution along the Great Ocean Road of Australia. The deployment for Surf Coast Shire in Lorne, Victoria was representative of a series of firsts for Smart Waste in Australia.


Firstly, the deployment was centred around a public tender released in 2016 by Surf Coast Shire. It was the first Smart Waste tender ever to be released in Australia and it was this release and our ultimate success in that has become the foundation for many other communities to begin seeing the benefits of smarter waste management.

In 2015 Surf Coast began trialling two Bigbelly Solar Compactors with Solar Bins Australia and the success of these in improving collection efficiency, gaining deep waste data and reduced complaints from the public over the 12 month trial led to the tender process. The release of tenders for smart waste management systems such as Bigbelly and Smartsensor highlight the evolving landscape in waste management, smart cities and the ever increasing integration of smart waste technology here in Australia.


Secondly, the deployment at Surf Coast is currently the largest multi town deployment for a regional council in Victoria and with this deployment have been able to link three regional towns with Bigbelly technology in order to provide deep insights to waste collection teams and council.

With a minimum of 46.8 km round trip between these three towns, it means a vehicle is travelling more than 150 times a year to empty bins, causing environmental damage, pollution and impact to the communities roads can now be reduced significantly.


Thirdly, with our partnership with Greenfleet we will be offsetting 64.32 t CO2-e of emissions generated from Surf Coast Shire’s waste collection through the planting of native trees planted in biodiverse forests. Solar Bins Australia has partnered with Greenfleet to offset further emissions caused from waste management collection of our clients. The first offset waste management hardware and data platform in the country… possibly the world.

With Lorne, the Great Ocean Road and the Surf Coast region being such as key tourist destination for the community, the eyesore of overflowing standard bins is one that the financial impacts cannot be measured. I mean how to you measure the impact of a tourist returning to their home country saying “We loved Australia but it was so messy. We loved Australia but there is litter everywhere.” Now it’s not always the public that are causing the mess. Sure the public who are consuming and disposing, but often other factors are causing waste management issues.

Such as in Surf Coast Shire’s case of the Wild Sulphur-crested Cockatoos have become a nuisance, particularly in coastal towns. Cockatoos are opening rubbish bins to forage for more food and spreading litter. This is often the result of the public and tourist “feeding the birds” which leads to them becoming lazy and demanding. From all reports from public, shop keepers and Council, our successful 2015 trial of the a Bigbelly DUO Station at the front of a fish and chip shop in Lorne eradicated the problem of a) Rubbish Overflow and b) Cockatoo Deep Dives!



Finally, the deployment at Lorne was the first for any Australian Council to offer the real estate available on the Bigbelly to be utilised by a Community Information Centre. The Lorne Visitors Centre was able to display center opening hours, the story of The Great Ocean Road and details of the local tourist experience that is available to visitors. The result? Clearer signage, clearer pathways and a more engaged community.

With the recent release of a handful of Smart Waste tenders by Australian Councils we are seeing Smart Waste move from Proof of Concept phases with Councils to pivotal foundations of their waste management network, now and for the future. It is this belief and engagement of our technology that will drive efficiency in waste management operations and help our communities to become smarter.


Located in Australia? Please contact Leon Hayes at Solar Bins Australia to discuss the opportunity to deploy a smarter solution for public space waste management in your community… Phone: 0408 060 827, or Email:, or Web:


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