In June 2018, I had the pleasure to sit down with Waste Management Review, one of Australia’s leading waste management publications. The team at WMR were writing an article on smart waste management and the changing of the guard in waste management collection. The article covers some of the great work Australian cities and councils are doing in the smart waste space and deep dives into how Georges River, Hume and Wyndham City Councils are gaining more than just efficiency with their smart waste deployments… Please enjoy Chapter 4 of our exclusive 6 part series.

If you missed Chapter 3 – SMART BIN POTENTIAL, see the following link:

An Intelligent Waste Series – Chapter 4 – SMART BINS IN VICTORIA

Victoria’s Wyndham City Council has invested in a trial of smart bins across the growing region. It installed 16 bins as a test to gather data and see if they would be a good fit for the council.

Tessa O’Brien, Waste Education Officer at Wyndham City Council, says the data has been useful to boost the efficiency of waste collection, with information available 24/7, including reports on an individual bin’s performance.

The bins are able to hold more than five times the capacity of a standard 120-litre bin thanks to its compaction capabilities. Its solar panels generate energy to compress the waste and are equipped with sensors which provide data that can be accessed via a dashboard and through mobile apps that can notify the collection staff.

“We’ve set up these smart bins in high traffic areas to gain the best performance and education outcome. We were collecting the original street bins every one to two days. Now, we’re collecting these smart bins on average only five to six times a month. That’s a big reduction in pick up demand.

“We’re able to see exactly how full each bin is and time our collections accordingly. One bin has been placed in an awkward and lower traffic spot, where we had been visiting once every couple of days on the usual round – now it’s once every 15 days,” Tessa says.

Tessa says reports of street litter have been reduced, particularly around the local government area’s train station, where there was often an issue of overflowing bins.

“We haven’t had the issue of overflowing bins since we installed them. We wouldn’t be able to know beforehand there’s a problem unless the community informed us, or there had been an event on with staff around. Now, instead of relying on our litter crews to perform visual checks, we have up to date data on bin performance all the time.”

Wyndham City Council’s goal is to divert 90 per cent of waste from landfill by 2040. Tessa says that to accomplish this, the council needed to innovate and take advantage of the new technology.

The City of Wyndham’s population is growing and saw the second largest percentage increase in population in Victoria between 2011 and 2016, with 55,000 new residents arriving in five years, according to the council’s website.

“We had a great education opportunity to get the community involved and show off the new bins. They are bright and engaging. We’ve had particularly positive feedback from the community, who are really happy with them,” Tessa says.

“Our solar bins have also been accompanied by a significant increase in street recycling bins within the municipality, as we had a key goal to increase public recycling services.”

Tessa says the collection process has become simplified. She says they’re functioning well and still look brand new. She says that they are serviced annually through council’s contract and under warranty for five years.

Do you think that waste management could be improved within your community?

As always, if my team or I can assist with any of your waste management needs please do not hesitate to reach out on 1330 893 610 or 0408 060 827 or [email protected]

Coming soon: Chapter 5 – SOLAR BINS IN AUSTRALIA

Can’t wait? Download the entire article here