Ask the right questions, get the right data and identify the right sensors.

There are smart bins at airports, malls, schools, campgrounds, beaches, and parks. The innovative trash containers are great for large cities.

Smart bin technology is helping with waste removal. Traditional routes don’t take into account how stopping at empty dumpsters can waste energy and time.

The smart trash bins have been used by a small number of early adopters. The smart bins are connected to the internet of things to measure trash levels and other metrics. Sanitation workers can route their pick-up vehicles more strategically as trash bins fill up. It is more efficient to empty dumpers before they are filled than to allow them to overflow, which can be a health hazard.

The Technology Inside a Smart Waste Bin

Smart bin technology is based on a series of sensors that detect fill levels. The waste data is displayed in real time to the workers. Waste workers can use the data to make waste management adjustments. The smart waste bins help us to reduce waste.

This technology is designed to help eliminate the problem of wasted trips from garbage trucks to collection sites, reducing pollution and making our communities safer and cleaner.

Let’s take an example of an IOT application called Smart Garbage Collection. We need to probe and ask the necessary questions before identifying what kind of sensors are required. We need the answer to the “who,” “what,” “when” and “where” questions, such as:

  • Who is collecting the garbage?
  • What is the status of the garbage bin?
  • When was the garbage collected?
  • Where is the location of full bins?

But it will be more useful if this information can be turned into something more knowledgeable by answering the question of “how” such as:

  • How to plan the route of the trucks?
  • How many days till the next collection?
  • How much garbage is produced in an area?

But the ultimate goal is if we can actually get the answer to the question of “why” such as:

  • Why is the garbage truck not picking up the garbage?
  • Why does this particular area produce more garbage than the rest?

By asking the right and important questions, we are able to identify what data need to capture and thus able to identify what sensors need to be deployed. Pure M2M alone will not be able to answer all the questions because gone are the day when data are collected in a silo manner. IOT requires the aggregation of many sources of data. Deriving insights require the skills of Big Data scientists and Data Story Teller.


To develop a better garbage collection solution, you need to collect all the sensor data for visualizations or do some form of machine learning to derive better insights. However, you need an IoT platform that can easily aggregate these data and manage the devices. This can be easily done with the FAVORIOT IoT platform. It has an open API that you (as an IoT developer) can use to send the data and create new applications.

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