Enhancing the cleanliness of our public spaces with solar-powered, compacting bins that send alerts.
Smart bins are already used around the world and in many small towns in New Zealand, and Christchurch was the first major city in the country to trial these bins. Smartbins use renewable, solar power to compact rubbish, and can hold up to six times the volume of standard rubbish bins. Internal sensors and a computer/GPS system allows each bin to provide real-time data to a cloud-based asset management system (CLEAN software). This provides an online dashboard and also sends alerts to contractors regarding bin status. The bins are sealed and can withstand harsh weather and vandalism.
Waste collection is labour and cost intensive, and despite frequent emptying, public rubbish bins often overflow. A particular issue of overflowing rubbish at the New Brighton Whale Pool area prompted many complaints to the Christchurch City Council, and the Smart Christchurch team was asked to respond to this challenge and explore ‘smart’ solutions.
A pair of Smart bins, one for rubbish and one for recycling, was installed for a six-month trial at the New Brighton Whale Pool playground in February of 2017.
The trial was a success, and the rubbish bins have been incorporated into Council’s operational service. Some of the key outcomes were:
The overall result of the trial was positive, with improved cleanliness, fewer complaints, reduced bin emptying and overall positive environmental impacts. Compacting bins and prompt alerts for contractors make a big difference in waste management, especially in places where usage varies widely and large volumes of rubbish are generated quickly.
100 Smart bins have now been installed at high-demand locations around the city, including Sumner and Akaroa.
Resilient communities | Liveable city | Healthy environment