Hot-Spot Clean Energy Street BinsWednesday 22nd July 2015
The only time most of us take notice of a street rubbish/garbage bin is usually when we need one - just to drop in that sandwich wrapping or newspaper. Nowadays when we find one it will offer us a choice for recycling. But how about if it was a smart bin, we may become more interested, and engaged with it!
Bigbelly, a company whose mission is to improve waste collection, have been developing their smart bin, an enclosed recycling bin. They initially built a street bin then added an inbuilt compactor, allowing up to five times as much waste to be collected, all powered by solar energy from a panel on the bin - so waste and energy wise.
They then realised with power ‘on-site’ they could add cloud based connectivity - allowing local authorities to monitor when bins needed emptying. The realisation followed that if they are connected to the cloud and are in ideal areas around a city they could also become free public WiFi hotspots.
So Bigbelly and the New York City based Downtown Alliance have been running a test of two WiFi hotspot enabled recycling bins, with compactors and powered by solar energy.
Downtown Alliance have been expanding and encouraging free public WiFi for 12 years and openly admit the biggest problem is providing power to the WiFi hubs and routers, with Bigbelly that problem is overcome with the solar panel providing free energy.
In winter or during the evenings it does mean there are limitations. Equally with the bins at street level without any infrastructure interfering with the signal, they provide a strong connection, plus there is no need to add further street furniture, such as poles or other containers.
Their bins are also sealed, so you will not need to hang around a stinking bin to stay connected, allowing for a pleasant experience - clean in so many ways.
Bigbelly are now looking to add more functionality to their bins, all powered by solar energy. Look out for the bins as they spread to a city near you, so you to can engage with your street recycling bin and stay connected.
Wednesday 22nd July 2015