Case Study: Smart litter bins

Smart litter bins at Swansea City Council

The problem :

  1. No one likes to see an overspilling bin on the street, creating horrible smells attracting rats. It makes the town look dirty and creates an unpleasant atmosphere for all people.
  1. When bin lorries do their collections, only 30% of the bins are full. This means that bin lorries are wasting fuel and time visiting mostly empty and partially full bins.

Our Challenge :

Swansea council have challenged us to see whether smart bin technology can reduce customer complaints and make bin collection more efficient in terms of saving time, fuel, and reducing the carbon footprint.

The Solution :

We have installed smart bin sensors into all of the litter bins around Swansea Marina. The sensors from BrighterBins measure the height of the rubbish in every single bin. This “fill-level” is sent over the LoRaWAN network to our purpose built dashboard.

The dashboard gives the waste team “at a glance” view of how full each bin is and which ones need any emptying. This means they can send the bin lorries directly to the bins that need emptying instead of going to every single one.

Results :

  • This technology has been trialled in 35 litter bins so far giving a dramatic reduction in the number of overflowing bin complaints.
  • Visits to empty bins has decreased by 53%.
  • The fuel from the lorry bins have reduced by over 10%.