By 2050, global waste is expected to reach 4 billion tons, doubling what it was in 2016. The rapid upsurge ties back to growing urban populations and a rise in consumer culture over the past few decades, neither of which is slowing down any time soon. To reduce the strain this is putting on the environment and waste collection services, communities around the globe are turning to smart waste management technologies and solutions. And one of the key aspects of smart waste management is a smart bin.

What is a smart bin?

Managing our waste more smartly is hugely important to the quality of our daily lives. Smart bins are designed to recognise different types of waste. It refers to any system that uses technology to make trash collection more efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Most of these systems are equipped with the Internet of Things (IoT), a monitoring technology that collects and tracks real-time data, to help optimise waste collection and spur future innovation.

Smartbin Sensors – BioEnable

What are the benefits of using a smart bin?

A smart bin offers many advantages. For instance:

  • Smart bins are environmentally friendly. By reducing the need for collection visits, smart bins lower emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases. As a result, we’re getting cleaner and safer streets.
  • Using a gentle compaction system maximises bin capacity, allowing you to keep more waste in the bin.
  • The smart bins have been standardised in a way that they can be emptied using existing collection equipment. 
  • Smart bins increase recycling rates. Smart sensors provide data on waste generation behaviour in real-time. These data are crucial in the battle to increase recycling rates. Once you have a clear overview of the baseline of recycling in your area, you can begin taking action to improve it and continually monitor and optimise your implementation efforts.
  • Compared to traditional recycling bins, smart bins take up less space on the footpath, reducing clutter and making it easier for people to move around the city. 
  • It also helps to reduce labor costs to reduce trips to pick up empty bins

Since we now know the importance of smart waste disposal technologies, let us look at some devices designed by different companies to make our lives easier. Here are some of the products which are already thriving in the market -:

1. Bin-e Smart Bin – Auto-organise Rubbish With AI

Bin -e is a device which sorts and compresses recyclable items automatically. It uses AI-based object recognition to check the fill level and makes the data processing more efficient.  

Bin-e optimizes waste management in facilities, which saves costs, time and labour. It ensures precisely sorted raw material through automatic recognition and segregation. Thanks to the compression of plastic and paper the frequency of emptying the bins are reduced by half.

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2. Cleanrobotics Trashbot – For Automatic Sorting

TrashBot is a smart trash can that uses AI to sort and separate trash from recyclables. When items are entered one at a time, a camera and sensors classify each item and sort them into the correct internal bin. The process takes three to five seconds per item.  This technology separates recyclable vs. landfill items with 90% accuracy, against the 30% accuracy that is typical of conventional methods.

Robotic Trash Bins : CleanRobotics trashbot

With a team that is fully driven by a sustainability purpose, the team at CleanRobotics have been focusing their energies on the waste management aspect of smart cities by combining robotics and AI. It’s both a problem that has sustainability benefits but also logistical benefits as each geography have growing challenges managing their own waste.

Company’s Website -:

3. Guardforce Smart Bin – The Smarter Way To Manage Waste

This Smart Bin uses wireless ultrasonic sensors to detect how full the bin is. Then the data is sent to a cloud-based monitoring and analytics platform through the IoT. Based on this data, waste collection services can optimize their routes and frequency to greatly improve operational efficiency and cut costs. This bin is equipped with auto-deodorizing and sterilizing features to prevent odours or leachate that may lead to landfill gases, and help to maintain a hygienic environment. 

Guardforce's Smart Cleaning Solution Featured In Smart Vision Magazine -  Guardforce

This bin can verify user identity by card or QR code scanning, weigh each load of disposed of content and record it for each user automatically. This seamless operation is convenient for the property or building management to keep tenants’ disposal records.

Company’s Website -:

4. Sensoneo – Waste Monitoring Sensor

This device measures fill levels in bins via ultrasonic beams. It can monitor any type of waste (mixed waste, paper, plastics, glass, clothing, bio-waste, liquids, electronics, metal….) in bins and containers of various types and sizes. The sensors are ultrasonic, robust, water and shock-resistant, and fully functional within a wide temperature range. The casing of the sensors is made from recyclable polyimide optical fibres that provide an eco-design and help with recycling.

Looking for Enevo alternative?

There are many additional features such as temperature measurement, fire alarm, tilt alarm and built-in BLE technology. The sensors are equipped with replaceable batteries with a lifespan of several years.

Company’s Website -:

5. WasteHero – Waste Management Software

With this software, people can build the platform seamlessly to meet the demands and processes required to manage specific waste infrastructure and processes. These capabilities allow local authorities and waste collectors to customize workflows according to their exact needs, rather than being forced into a one-size-fits-all system. You can also connect this software to many hardware devices to optimize operations. For example – You can connect it with WasteHero’s Fill level smart bin sensors with advanced optical laser technology which gives extreme accuracy and 3D waste topology mapping.

Waste Management Software Platform | WasteHero

Company’s Website -:

6. ecoATM – Sell Your Electronics For Cash

ecoATM is a renowned leader in reducing electronic waste and finding value in gently used electronics. e-waste has long been identified as a global concern, especially with the increase in mobile device production. With over 4500 locations, people can drop off their electronic items and collect an instant reward.

ecoATM Gazelle Raises $75M of Growth Capital to Drive Global Smartphone  Access and Sustainability

For the past 10 years, the company has collected over 30 million devices which is equivalent to powering over 55,468 households for a year. It was established to address this problem while providing a more financially and environmentally responsible way to sell and recycle personal electronics. 

Company’s Website -:

7. Ecube Labs – Solar-powered Trash Compactor

Powered by solar energy CleanCUBE is a trash compactor which can hold up to 5 times more waste compared to non-compacting bins, reducing collection frequency by up to 80%. With the help of 3G telecommunication, it is used to send and receive signals. All the data is collected and organized so end users can optimize operations. 

CleanCube bin

CleanCUBEs are great for locations with high-foot traffic where trash overflow is common, such as a city’s business districts, college campuses, shopping centres, tourist attractions, sports stadiums, etc.

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8 . Envac – Pneumatic Waste Collection Bins

Envac builds a customised waste removal system based on vacuum technology which puts trash bags in an underground facility and from there those bags can be collected and sent to the respective waste disposal facility. This type of system is very helpful for day to day use in apartment buildings and offices and restaurants.

The smart waste management system from Envac

You can see a 2min video how the smart bins work here.

Company’s Website -:

9. BigBelly smart bin – Anything But A Standard Bin

Bigbelly is most widely known for their solar-powered waste & recycling compactors that are deployed worldwide. Bigbelly’s High Capacity (HC5) model provides 150 gallons of waste capacity, holding up to 5X the volume of a traditional waste bin, and company’s Standard Capacity (SC5.5) model provides 50 gallons. Stations are designed to be modular and support any combination of waste streams at each location. It senses and reports fullness into CLEAN software. It connects seamlessly to Bigbelly’s notification system, it also enables 5X productivity gains by knowing when to collect and also has a hopper option which prevents pest access to waste. In addition, the waste bins can be customised to have the right messaging or branding as well to help further promote a client’s green image

BigBelly Bins at NYC

BigBelly bins at Spencer Street Station in Melbourne, Australia

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10. AI Incorporated – Self-driving Bin

AI Incorporated designed a smart bin which can roll out on its own. You can schedule a time for Smart Bin to take itself to the curb. At the appointed time, Smart Bin rolls out on its own. Memories of past experiences and simultaneous localization mapping (SLAM) help guide its path. With the help of stereo vision cameras and depth sensors map the bin’s surroundings anticipate obstacles.

Self Driving Bin

Company’s Website -:

11. Pela’s – Lomi food composter

Have you ever tried to compost the food waste but found it difficult or gross? Well, Pela’s Lomi food composter helps you ease this process. Lomi speeds up the breakdown of organic waste into smaller fragments – similar to how earthworms break down and mix plant tissue into the soil, except Lomi does this without the smell and mess! The fragmented waste provides more surface area for microbes to accelerate the composting process. The result is a natural source of soil nutrients that increase the organic content of the soil, helping boost plant growth and soil enrichment. It can help you reduce your waste footprint by 50%.

Lomi food composter

Company’s Website -:


Smart Bins help to create a cleaner, safer, more hygienic environment and enhance operational efficiency while reducing management costs, resources, and roadside emissions. While one may argue that system requires more number of waste bins for separate waste collection as per population in the city which results into high initial cost due to expensive smart dustbins compare to other methods but just like other upcoming technologies this is also an issue which can be resolved in future when more companies start taking a look at it.

No matter how you look at them, Smart Bins make sense and could be a real boon not just to smart cities but as a whole, but to all stakeholders in waste management, be it service providers, public and private enterprises or environmental groups.

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