Bigbelly solar-powered compacting rubbish bins have been used in New Zealand, and around the world, for some time. Christchurch is the first major city in New Zealand to trial these compact... More
Uses sensors to alert when bins are full, reducing complaints.
Overflowing public rubbish bins are a frequent source of complaints from residents.
Our rubbish collection contractors work constantly to empty the city’s bins, but they don’t know until they arrive at the site whether they’ll find an empty bin, a full one, or an overflowing mess.
Simply adding more collection runs would help, but it would increase costs, and have a greater impact on the environment. Instead, we trialled a smart solution with our Council contractors Rec Services and Citycare, using sensors to detect rubbish levels inside bins. With accurate level data, collection times and routes can be optimised, to ensure bins are emptied in time, and only when necessary.
Our trial uses LevelSense sensors, which were developed by Christchurch company PiP IoT. The sensor is a small unit mounted on the inside of the bin lid. It uses sonar to detect the rubbish level, and transmits its readings to a monitoring system.
A dashboard shows the status of each bin. When rubbish reaches a specified level, the system alerts the contractor that the bin needs emptying.
As well as detecting fullness, the sensors have a few additional smarts: a heat sensor to alert contractors if there is a fire in the bin, a tilt sensor so we know when the bin lid has been opened, a vibration sensor so we know if the bin is being vandalised, and a GPS unit for accurate positioning.
There are currently 100 bin sensors deployed across Christchurch.