A solar waste compactor that functions with an ordinary household wheelie bin will be trialled by a Victorian council keen to increase bin capacity, cut costs and reduce the number of rubbish collections the council makes.
The City of Greater Bendigo Council is currently trialling Clean Cube, a smart waste compactor which runs on renewable solar energy and tells you when it is full.
The Clean Cube was developed by Korean start-up company Ecube and it can hold a 120 or 240 litre bin. Bendigo Council’s Australian supplier is Smart City Solutions.
City of Greater Bendigo Presentation and Assets Director Craig Lloyd said it could help reduce the cost of waste collection.
“By reducing the frequency of collections there is the potential to reduce the costs and labour associated with providing waste collection services to public areas by up to 80 per cent,” Mr Lloyd said. “It’s important to look at the new technology that exists to see if it’s viable for our community.”
He said the Clean Cube used smart technology and multiple sensors to measure the bin’s fill level in real time.
“The sensors trigger the automatic compaction of waste inside the bin and by doing this the capacity of the bin is increased by up to eight times meaning it doesn’t have to be emptied as often,” Mr Lloyd said.
“However when it is full, the Clean Cube electronically notifies the city’s waste collection staff that it needs to be emptied.”
Mr Lloyd said the compactor’s smart technology also included safety features that could detect sudden temperature rises, such as a fire in the bin.
Using the compactor bins at events would also reduce overflowing and litter.
Ecube Labs’ online marketing manager, Matti Juutinen, told IoTAustralia in June last year that the cube can hold up to eight times more rubbish than traditional bins.
“We are the only company in the industry to offer an ultrasonic fill-level sensor (with 10 years battery life) and a smart solar-powered waste compacting bin on a single real-time monitoring platform that generates optimised schedules and routes based on fill-level forecasting,” Mr Juutinen said.
He said the compactor could go for two to three weeks without sunlight once fully charged. Charging it takes three to four days if there has been at least four hours of sunlight on each day.
The Clean Cube is being trialled at Lake Weeroona, the city’s most popular recreation area, until June 13.