According to the Hong Kong Government, around 6 million tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) is generated in the city every year and worryingly, with our consumption-led lifestyles, this figure is set to rise. Of course, managing all this waste is costly, logistically difficult and time consuming for the government – and we pay the price in our taxes!
This problem is not unique to Hong Kong either; cities around the world are desperate to find solutions which can reduce the strain of waste management. One of those solutions is a new type of bin – the smart bin – which leverages the Internet of things (IoT) to provide a much more efficient way to manage waste. In this post, we will look at how smart bin technology is revolutionising waste management by reducing costs, easing logistics and improving the environment for everyone.
Smart bins are an intelligent waste management system. They have wireless ultrasonic fill-level sensors embedded inside which detect how full the bin is and then, through the IoT, this data is sent to a cloud-based monitoring and analytics platform. On the basis of this data, waste collection services can optimise their routes and frequency.
Smart bins also use a solar-powered trash compactor which activates at a pre-set level, enabling them to hold a great deal more waste (up to 8 times) and avoid overflowing.
Intelligent safety sensors are also installed which stop compaction if a hand is detected and, if fire is detected, will alert the monitoring station and automatically begin extinguishing the fire.
With their combination of intelligent waste monitoring and trash compaction technologies, smart bins are head and shoulders above traditional garbage bins. Cities installing smart bins can enjoy:
Take your average garbage bin on the street – a few bottles, some cans, some polystyrene take-away boxes and it’s deemed as full and needs to be emptied before it overflows. Also, waste collection services do not have data available in real time to tell them if a bin is empty or full and ready for collection. This is not an effective way to manage waste. Smart bins solve these issues quickly and easily and governments around the world are catching on.
Take Australia as an example, where smart bins are now widely used and have greatly improved the efficiency of waste management. Prior to installing smart bins, waste collection from the old “dumb” garbage bins was carried out several times a day but now with smart bins this has been reduced astonishingly to once every two weeks! This not only saves manpower costs, but also reduces the air pollution caused by garbage trucks, fuel use and helps to alleviate traffic congestion.
In addition, people have been enjoying a cleaner living environment with no overflowing bins and nasty smells.
Smart bins are also a perfect solution for Asian cities. With the high density of people and traffic issues which are typical in this part of the world, the introduction of smart bins would make a significant impact.
Smart bins are not just suited to busy city environments either, they can also improve waste management in any area where there is a large volume of human traffic, including theme parks, malls, campuses, hospitals and transport hubs, to name just a few. They are also useful in more remote locations, such as parks, campsites and beachside areas, where data on bin fill-levels would allow collection services to only travel out when needed.
So we can see how smart bin technology is revolutionising waste management and Guardforce, as a pioneering innovator in smart city technologies, is leading the drive with its cutting-edge IoT smart bin.
The Guardforce Smart Bin has been designed to fit seamlessly into Asian smart city blueprints, including the Hong Kong Smart City Blueprint, to take the pressure off waste collection services and governments as well as improve the environment for all. And as the sole distributor of smart bins in Hong Kong and Macau, you can expect to see a Guardforce Smart Bin near you soon!
Learn more about the Guardforce Smart Bin here.