Around the city of Melbourne, you may notice that the bins have solar panels on top. Why does a bin need power? Are smart bins a thing? Here’s why.
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Around the streets of Melbourne you notice something unusual about the bins. They're solar powered. Which begs the question, why?
A challenge for cities is designing a system where rubbish bins are readily available, but some areas of the city are busier than others. In this case, you can either pick them up more which adds to cost, or put more in place which isn't great for the streetscape.
Melbourne's solution to this is the Smart Bin. And here's how it works. These solar power bins actually double as trash compactors, and can hold around six or seven times as much waste as a normal bin. And, they also have a built-in communication system that connects to the mobile network, which can report back when they need to be collected.
After a successful trial, Melbourne replaced 772 bins with 397 Smart Bins, almost halving the total footprint on the streets, and importantly, reducing collections of some bins from around four times per day to just 5.4 times per week. And, what this means is that rubbish trucks are no longer required in the city during work hours. Melbourne bins, they're smarter than you might think.
If you enjoyed that, I've got more videos about design and cities. I'm Julian O'Shea, take care.