Glasgow trials smart bins in city centre

City council hopes to provide more efficient waste collections with information from sensors

Glasgow City Council has launched a 12-month trial of the use of ‘smart bins’, equipped with sensors to monitor the level of rubbish they contain.

Bunch of blokes in front of smart binsUp to 400 sensors will be placed in street bins around the city centre. They will detect when the bins  are three quarters full and send alerts to the Environmental Task Force control centre, which will instruct staff to ensure they are emptied.

The trial will also take place in quieter locations where bins need to be emptied less often, with the aim of eliminating daily trips that are not necessary.

Glasgow currently has 10,000 on-street bins and some, such as those in Sauchiehall Street, are emptied up to three times a day.

The move is being financed as part of a wider £6 million programme to improve waste collection in the city, and which also involves the employment of 215 new staff.

Reduce waste

Council Leader Frank McAveety (at centre of picture) said: “This package of measures will ensure resources are focused where they are needed most and reduce wasted journeys to quieter areas to check if bins need emptied. This will make the service more efficient, meaning staff can spend time in busier areas where bins need emptied most frequently.

“These measures build on the success of the Environmental Task Force which has had a huge impact on the city and been well received by the public.”

The introduction of smart services in waste is one of the projects run in Glasgow under the Smart Cities Scotland programme, under which it is also involved in a plan to introduce intelligent street lighting.

In 2013 it won £24 million from the Technology Strategy Board to support its own Future City Glasgow programme, and last year became the location for a high capacity wireless network to support the use of internet of things technology.