'Smart bins' let cleaners know when they need attention

'Smart bins' let cleaners know when they need attention
The smart bins’ variety of sensors on display during its unveil. Photo: Jordon Simspon
Published: 2:09 PM, May 20, 2015
Updated: 12:39 AM, May 21, 2015

SINGAPORE — A homegrown smart waste management system, in the form of rubbish bins that can send out alerts to cleaners when they are full, is expected to help increase the efficiency of trash removal around the island.

Known as netBin, the system’s key features include smart bins which are equipped with a variety of sensors that can also notify cleaners of the bins’ locations, or even warn them of a fire, among other things.

Developed by Singapore company Mobiquest, the system is designed to minimise the overflowing of rubbish bins, and to help cleaners work more efficiently.

It is among the technologies featured today (May 20) during a media preview of the upcoming CommunicAsia2015, EnterpriseIT2015 and BroadcastAsia2015, which will be held at Marina Bay Sands next month.

With netBin, data from the sensors will be collected for analysis and transmitted to cleaners and their supervisors by 3G network in 15-minute intervals. The batteries in the sensors can last for up to five years.

The data will be able to show statistics for dustbins in the area, so that cleaners can formulate collection routes around just the bins that need servicing. It can also identify areas in the bin network that are over capacity and require backup.

The National Environment Agency awarded the contract for the litter bin management system to Mobiquest in January this year. 

The system, touted as the first of its kind, is required to manage 10,000 bins.

Speaking to TODAY after the media preview, Mr Neo Teck Guan, director of Huawei’s solutions marketing department for the South Pacific region, noted that a sensor network is a key element in creating a smart-nation platform.

“The data collected (from the network)  then can be analysed and used to create a lot of solutions. Safe city is one big area. For example, I can catch people doing illegal parking, or create an emergency command centre to stop riots. The opportunities are endless,” said Mr Neo, whose company will be taking part in the exhibitions.

The three exhibitions, which will be held from June 2 to June 5, will bring together more than 1,800 exhibitors from 56 countries to showcase the latest technologies.