Smart Bins: City of Edinburgh Council begin roll out of 11,000 digital sensors

The City of Edinburgh Council launched the first phase of their ‘smart’ bin roll out this week, in an attempt to reduce overflowing waste in streets and green spaces.
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The plan to deliver 11,000 smart bins by the end of next summer has been in the pipeline for several years after the council adopted a digital strategy to become a ‘Smart City’ two years ago.

From this week, sensors will be fixed to the lids of communal bins and to the back of litter bins, alerting the council when the receptacles reach capacity.

The project is expected to be completed by summer 2023The project is expected to be completed by summer 2023
The project is expected to be completed by summer 2023
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The new technology will also highlight which bins are used most often, allow for faster response rates and help create more efficient waste collection routes.

Phase one, which got underway yesterday, will introduce the new digital sensors in litter bins at the Meadows and Lanark Road West and in communal bins on Pitt Street.

Council leader, Cammy Day, said the new project will provide “extremely useful information” about bin use in the capital and help pave the way to cleaner neighbourhoods as well as protecting the environment.

Councillor Day said: “We’re beginning a programme of installing intelligent sensors in more than 11,000 communal and litter bins across the city, which will give us extremely useful information about when bins are full, when they’re emptied and how often they’re used.

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“Not only will they help us respond to overflowing bins more quickly but they will lead to more efficient waste collection routes, saving fuel and better diverting resources.

“This kind of technology allows us to deliver a more digitally enabled proactive service and address many of the challenges a rapidly growing city like Edinburgh faces.”

Councillor Day added: “As part of our ambitious Smart Cities plans it supports our work towards providing clean and green communities, meeting our net zero targets and improving living conditions and wellbeing for all.”

The £6.4m scheme is party funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) who provided £2.5m towards the project and Zero Waste Scotland who awarded £500k to the council’s Recycling Improvement Fund.

The project is in line with the Edinburgh City Vision 2050 which utilises data and cloud based technology to provide efficient services for Edinburgh residents.

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