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Come up with an innovative feature of street trash bins

Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/shallow-focus-photo-of-gray-steel-trash-bin-3529891/

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J. Nikola
J. Nikola Jul 20, 2022
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When you walk down the street, you probably see many trash/waste/litter bins. Every city has their own designs, sizes and features. Sometimes they are designed to look cool for a purpose, sometimes they give us nice ambient light and sometimes they can even go underground, but they are always there.
Could we add some extra features to them?
9
Creative contributions

I prefer them empty

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Florin Buda
Florin Buda Jul 20, 2022
I have one bin in front of my window - is full and smelly. I'd love if it would had a "fullness sensor" that would alert the garbage collectors when is full. An AI could schedule the best route carburant-wise to pick them only when they're full - this small improvement would result in an economy of gas and time not only for the garbage collectors but even for the drivers that wait in trafic while the gargbage truck pics an half-empty garbage bin. (I won't go sci-fi with automatic solar-powered-drones :) )
Technically it would be simple: a ultrasound sensor, solar panel (not a big deal if it only sends data in daytime?), a 2km wifi module + arduino. Perhaps we could incetivise nearby companies to allow the sensors to connect to their wifi (1% free from yearly-garbage fees?).
Atleast we could have an QR code on the bin and with an app we could say "Please pick this bin because is full".
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Povilas S
Povilas S21 days ago
I think the automatic solar-powered drones idea is really cool actually. To come and empty the bins in a rather random manner (only those that are full) you'd need way more resources than driving in a usual, convenient route and emptying them all at once.
Drones serving this purpose could be located every 100 meters or so, they'd take very little space. They'd rest on charging panels until a signal informs that there's a need to empty a bin nearby. A drone then lifts off, empties the bin, and places the content into a container dedicated to that block. These containers could be later emptied by heavy garbage-collecting machinery doing conventional collection routes.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
In addition to the fullness sensor, there could be a smell sensor. When it detects certain gasses above a threshold the bin signals that it needs cleaning.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikolaa month ago
As a handy solution that can be installed today, I think your last proposition is great.
Service that creates the map of all bins, trash cans, and waste disposal containers, sticks QR code or another type of notification button on them and has a goal of providing more economical garbage collection and thus, a cleaner city. You can contact them to empty the bin, and they will contact authorities/garbageman, help them plan a route and the trash will be picked up. I think the local authorities would agree to invest in this idea. Would you like to present it as a separate idea?
Concerning your "fullness sensor", I read about smart bins that already have this feature through a communication module which allows notifications to be sent when the bin is ready to be emptied, or if there are any issues. Actually, there is a whole project about it, but I couldn't find if it's already viral and on the streets.
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Smart bin that gives you random gifts for using it properly

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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain Jul 21, 2022
Imagine incentivizing waste segregation with a bit of playfulness. How? Install smart bins that have dedicated compartments for biodegradable and non-degradable wastes. A different compartment is attached to the bin that works as a vending machine; whenever someone throws XYZ amount of waste properly into the bin, the bin ejects out random gifts to the user. The gift need not be costly and fancy, it could be something as simple as a keyring, a postcard or something similar that acts as a gesture of gratitude.
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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi20 days ago
I love this contribution. I've thought of something similar being implemented in my city. I think a points based system like we've proposed for several other ideas on this platform will also work.
The citizens with the most points in a month can be entered into a raffle draw and the winner made an ambassador for the city's cleaning and environmental department, either city-wide or just within their immediate community. That will require making the bins smart and each person having an ID for recording their actions.
What do you think?
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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain20 days ago
Oguntola Tobi The point system sounds great. People can be assigned points based on their usage frequency and as you mentioned rewarded monthly. The problem would be to bring down the cost of designing and mass-producing such smart bins.
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Separate section for unspoiled food

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Spook Louw
Spook Louw Jul 26, 2022
Often people throw away food that is still perfectly edible. Perhaps we could envision a way to keep such items separated from the rest of the trash so that people who cannot afford a meal can get it.
People rummage through trash looking for food anyway, this would simply be more hygienic for them. Perhaps such a bin could also have a way of indicating that there is some food available, which might prevent the homeless from emptying out bins to see if there is anything for them to eat.
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Smell proof bins

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Povilas S
Povilas S Jul 27, 2022
An alternative or additional solution to Darko Savic's proposition would be to make trash bins smell proof. Make sure the bin lid is closed very tightly by an automatic system each time the person puts something in it. The lid could be activated by a movement or IR sensor (place your hand over the bin or your foot at the side of it and the lid goes off, it then closes after a certain time (say 10 seconds) or once you place your foot at the certain spot again). Any remaining gaps between the top of the bin and the lid would be tightly sealed by attaching rubber or similar material to both the lid and the top of the bin.
To make the bins stink less during the time they are opened, smell neutralizing chemicals (similar to those used in outdoor toilets) sprayed once in a while by the bin on top of the trash or trash bags infused with strong scents could be used.
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Composting bins

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Povilas S
Povilas S Jul 28, 2022
Make separate trash bins dedicated specifically for organic waste or make a compartment in each street bin dedicated only for organic waste (the bin could spit any non-organic trash back at the user if a person puts something "illegal" there).
Empower the bins with a fast decomposing system similar to those used in smart home organic waste composters. Use the compost to fertilize plants in parks or for similar purposes.
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Sound effects

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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković Aug 08, 2022
Make the bins have a motion sensor so that when you put the garbage in, you hear either a basketball swoosh sound, or "Kobe!" in a commentator's voice. Or his own maybe. It would be an extra incentive not to litter.
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Solar-powered bins with heating/cooling feature

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J. Nikola
J. Nikola Jul 20, 2022
Why?
  • During cold times, many commuters, homeless people or passengers seek a warm shelter while they are on the street.
  • During warm times, concrete jungles (cities full of concrete) get really warm (a trendy topic). Many people stay indoors in climate areas and cool themselves in local fountains or rivers. However, a nice cool place would be nice when you wait for a bus.
  • Since people throw organic waste into ordinary bins, it can start to rot pretty fast in hot weather, releasing an unpleasant smell.
How would it work?
Power
Bin would be solar-powered in a few ways: 1) the floor around the bin would be made of solar panels that collect the sunlight, 2) the panels would be installed on a pole above the bin or 3) the bin would be connected to the solar panels on the surrounding roofs.
Heating/cooling
The bottom of the bin would be made from a solid welded steel and would present a heart of the heater/cooler. The heater would turn on only when the temperatures drop below 5°C, while the cooler would turn on only above 35°C (these could be manually modified by local authorities/service provider according to the energy resources and the time of the year). The bins would be created from non-rusting metal material with antimicrobial coating.
Usage
People could use the bins to get rid of trash. If the featuresturned on, they could also get closer and get warm during cold days, or cool themselves a bit during hot days. The organic waste could last longer before it starts to smell bad during hot summer days.
What do you think?
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J. Nikola
J. Nikolaa month ago
The bins could also have an air filter to purify the air . This could become especially handy and trendy in big polluted cities.

[1]https://nevonprojects.com/solar-outdoor-air-purifier-with-air-quality-monitor/

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Trash bins with foldable umbrellas

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J. Nikola
J. Nikola Jul 20, 2022
When the rain starts to fall, a huge umbrella unfolds from the top of the metal pole on which the solar panels are mounted to protect passengers from the rain. To prevent energy waste if there are no people, the umbrella could be activated only when the rain starts to fall and somebody pushes the button. Umbrella retracts if the button is not pressed for 30 minutes.
It would also prolong the lifespan of the bin by preventing the appearance of rust.
Alternatively, the umbrella could be used as a parasol during hot summer days.
Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/yellow-and-black-trash-bin-beside-a-tree-3964534/
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
A few potential problems with this:
  • Vandalism. The umbrella has many fragile small parts that are easily broken.
  • Dirt accumulation (not easy to clean) and degradation due to weather conditions
  • Even in the rain people wouldn't like standing next to a smelly bin. For example, if you put a trash bin inside a bus stop it would likely degrade the experience of waiting for the bus
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J. Nikola
J. Nikolaa month ago
Darko Savic I definitely agree with all your points. It would be the last choice when the rain starts to pour. Vandalism is always a problem, even for the classic street bins. That's an issue we should fight through different means. But thank you for pointing it out, I'll think of ways how to make the bin parts more robust and smell-proof.
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Trash-collecting vehicles instead of street bins as a personalized waste management solution

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J. Nikola
J. Nikola Jul 28, 2022
Trash bins on the move that can be found all over the city, are emptied on the go and can be halted or called to a specific location.
Why?
  • street bins have many flaws (they smell bad, they are often dirty and messy, and birds take out the trash)
  • street bins make it hard to recycle waste since they often do not engage people in separating waste
  • they are not always emptied when full
  • waste management companies charge you a defined fee per person or a fixed fee, with often no flexibility according to the amount or type of waste
  • trucks that empty trash bins and containers are really loud
How would it work?
The service would consist of two types of customers (Collectors and Subscribers) and a waste management company. The concept would be similar to Uber.
Collectors would apply for a job the same way as Uber drivers and would get a trash bin that they asked for (small, medium, big, type of waste). The trash bin could be installed inside or outside a vehicle (truck, van, car, scooter, bicycle) and would be a Collector's responsibility to keep it clean and in good shape. The bins could be for general waste, plastic, paper, metal, batteries, etc. The Collectors would dovnload the app and would accept emptying requests (waste disposal) from Subscribers, empty the full bins in busy areas or empty their own bins in local waste disposal center.
Subscribers would also download an app and use it to find moving waste-collecting vehicles or request waste collection on site. Every trash bag or waste would be weighted once inside the trash bin and determined the type of waste. Based on size, weight and type, the Subscriber would be charged a fee.
Financing
Part of the fee would go to the Collector, while the rest would go to the service company. Company would recycle or sell waste and earn money from it. I imagine it to function the same as bolt food, uber, or similar service.
Benefits
  • no smelly and messy street bins
  • no fixed waste management fees - you pay by the amount and type of waste you make
  • waste is being collected on the go and emptied at the end of the day (or whenever, but extremely fast)
Questions
  • What do you think, would this system work?
  • Why would people choose to use it besides saving money and keeping the streets cleaner?
  • How would you design the specialized bins and where would you put them?
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Povilas S
Povilas S20 days ago
What about small automated vehicles (bins on wheels) driving around and looking for people in need to dump some trash? In some places, there's a deficit of trash bins and people complain about it, let the bins come to people.
Imagine the bin moves slowly along the pedestrian street. You wave to it and it comes to you. It can become stationary or drive around. As soon as the moving bin gets full, it empties itself into the nearest trash collecting point. Such bins might have different compartments for recycling or sort each item for recycling automatically as proposed here.
You could book the trash bin's visit through a dedicated app (in case you need to dump some more trash at a specific time and specific place). You pay a small fee for it. Moving bins could come in various sizes, you book one depending on how much trash you need to dump. Those in a size of a street trash bin would regularly patrol urban areas, others would only be available for booking through the app.
At a time when there are no people to serve or nobody needs to dispose of waste, moving bins could clean the streets by collecting trash from the pavement.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikola20 days ago
Povilas S Well, with more and more autonomous vehicles being developed, this could become reality and it would be much better than what I have proposed. As I understood, you would make it function the same as I proposed, but it would be a driverless vehicle?
The main reason why it wasn't a primary idea was that I didn't want to increase the number of vehicles on the already-crowded city roads. The idea of using pavement makes it a bit more dangerous since people, their pets and kids move in an often unpredictive manner.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikola20 days ago
Povilas S What do you think about making bins remotely operated? Freelancers would go on a course and get a licence for "driving" remotely-operated trash bins around a city. You could get a licence for a "lightweight" bin, but that wouldn't be enough to drive "heavyweight" bin vehicles. Would it help the transition from driver-based to the autonomous mode of operation?
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