Oeiras smart bin, Source: Oeiras Municipality

Smart waste bins are popping up all over Oeiras

Smart waste bins are popping up all over Oeiras

A new way of thinking about refuse

The Portuguese municipality of Oeiras is in the process of getting a new addition to its public landscape – smart waste bins. For the time being, this is part of a pilot project, conveniently called “Smart Bins” (Papeleiras inteligentes), which will see the gradual placement of 50 such devices in various districts of the municipality for a duration of 7 months after which time there will be a process of evaluation.

What are smart bins anyway?

The installation of the bins is part of the local urban policy towards modernizing the daily life and bringing about environmental and economic benefits to the residents of Oeiras, a municipality in the western part of the Lisbon metropolitan area.

So, what makes the new litter bins smarter than the older regular ones? For starters, they have a capacity of 120 litres. However, capacity in itself is not impressive. What is cool about the new trash receptacles is that they also have an internal compactor, which presses the waste that has been deposited and thus actually makes full use of the interior volume. That means that as a result, the new devices can end up storing 8 times more waste than the older ones.

And that is not all. The smart bins are also designed to be energy efficient. They have solar-powered sensors, which issue an automatic alert once full capacity has been reached. This means that the bins will only be emptied when necessary thus saving extra trips for the waste management company, which in turn results in less traffic on the streets, less noise pollution and fewer emissions into the atmosphere.

Furthermore, each bin, being an intelligent system stores data about the speed of filling levels, frequency of collections and such. This information can be used for analysis and better management on part of the municipal services.

After the first three months after the pilot project, the Municipality will open a public tender for the installation of these bins in other districts and parishes.

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