Here’s How Smart Bins Are Shaping the Future of Waste Management

According to the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment, the country produces an average of 3.7 million tonnes of solid waste every year. NZ also performed poorly on a survey about effective recycling programs conducted by Consumers International. These figures, among other similar data, underscore the need for a better waste management system in the country, and the use of smart bins is taking that much-needed first step. 

This simple yet life-changing solution offers an emerging technology that has helped countries around the world to start to make their stand, especially in addressing the growing problems of managing and disposing of solid waste.  


What is a Smart Bin?

What is a smart waste bin and how is it different from a traditional bin?  

Smart bins eliminate the most common downsides of standard trash cans. A standard garbage bin often overflows and emits odour and other pollutants. For garbage collection, it relies on a fixed schedule that leaves more time for the unfavourable sight of overflowing garbage and the smell of odour-causing pollutants to get worse. 


Here are some of the factors that make smart bins better. 


A smart bin is an intelligent waste management solution.

A smart bin is a technology-based, intelligent waste management receptacle equipped with a sealing mechanism and a rubbish-compacting tool. Different sensors are also embedded inside the container. These sensors monitor the bin’s usage data and detect if it is full and ready for collection. If so, the bin is automatically or remotely locked to avoid overflowing. 

The information gathered by the bin is then forwarded to a cloud-based monitoring and analytics program, through the Internet of Things (IoT). 


Smart bins can be customized according to your company’s needs.

These smart bins can come in different shapes, colours, designs, and sizes that allow them to seamlessly fit into every urban environment’s unique blueprint. Additionally, other bin designs feature 24/7 LED lighting so they can easily be identified, especially at night. Depending on the models, smart bins have sound modules that can deliver a personalized message to the public. 


Smart bins are designed with safety, health, and convenience in mind.

Recent smart bin designs highlight modifications that accommodate a separate collection for cigarette butts to prevent fire hazards. Most designs have sensors on the lid that detect motion to automatically open the bin for its users. Other models come with a galvanized foot pedal to open the container without touching and automatically close it upon the pedal’s release.  


How Can Smart Bins Introduce a More Efficient Waste Management System?

Smart cities that have embraced the smart bin technology have witnessed how it has transformed and improved their waste management systems. New York, Singapore, Shanghai, London, Tokyo, Dubai, and Tokyo, among other metropolises in the world, are currently taking advantage of the cost reduction, logistics advantages, and environmental benefits of smart bin solutions. 

Thanks to the smart bin’s rubbish compaction technology, these cities have observed an up to 80% reduction of waste collection efforts, automatically reducing the need for workforce and labour. Waste management departments also enjoyed the fuel and time savings from the resulting fewer collection trips. Decreased trip schedules also meant these collection trucks won’t contribute to the city’s daily emissions and traffic congestion. 

Additionally, the smart bin’s ability to “communicate” with other smart trash bins and forward the information to a cloud-based central database produces vital analytics data. This data will guide cities and companies to effectively optimise bin placements and map out collection routes. 

Most importantly, a smart bin is environmentally friendly and sustainable. Quality smart bin models are equipped with solar power systems so they can function without relying on an external power source. A smart bin’s locking mechanism, once in full capacity, prevents pollutants and other contaminants from the trash leaking into its surroundings. It’s a healthy and odourless alternative that’s perfect for high-traffic residential and commercial areas. 


The Future of Waste Management is Smart

Smart bin technology has truly proven its place as a trailblazer, especially in how smart cities with smart radars can combine technology and environmental awareness to reshape traditional waste collection practices into an intelligent, data-driven waste management system. The same innovation opens opportunities for humans and machines to harmoniously work together to provide better, safer, and cleaner environments for the present and future generations.